The Aroma of Enchantment

1992, 55:02 min, color, sound

In this engaging video essay, Lord explores the Japanese fascination with 1950's American pop culture. Writes Steve Seid, "Lord's meditation combines his own bemusement over the many displaced icons of American culture — from rockabilly bands in the park to dream car showrooms — with historical anecdotes about General MacArthur's reign and stories told by 'practitioners of Americanization' ... By turns humorous, ingenious, and melancholy, The Aroma of Enchantment pointedly notes how America represented the 'abundance of democracy' for a country decimated by war. Unable to revise or reject these anachronistic images, Japan is ironically stuck with empty Elvis in a time of plenty."

Producer/Writer/Director: Chip Lord. Associate Producer: Toshi Onuki. Videotape: Chip Lord, Toshi Onuki. Additional Text: Marita Sturken. Sound Design: Barney Jones. Post-Production: Starr Sutherland. Additional Video: Nora Bateson. Post-production: The Film Lab UCSC, Bay Area Video Coalition, Earwax Productions.