06-feb-2011 + the illusionist

Last night I dreamt that we were going in to the water, much like how we would spend our Sundays on jet-skis.  We’re in a house that’s close to the ocean, maybe a beach house, or a house boat.  The rooms are really white, but like a shiny slick white, easy for water to slide off of.  Then we start getting our wetsuits on, and I discovered that that’s the one thing I did not pack.  Then I’m in a nature preserve, it’s like we’re on that ride in Jurassic Park, not the water ride, but the ride in the actual movie Jurassic Park.  It’s taking us through a nature preserve while telling us about it in an amusement park style.  I remember a place that looks like a horse stall, and a large domed door.

Saw The Illusionist this weekend with Jessica.  It’s a French-British Animated film.  It’s nominated for beat animated feature, along with How To Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3.  The Illusionist is about a… well, an Illusionist, a struggling one in the 1950’s.  He goes where work will take him, and on a trip to Scotland he meets a young girl.  Whacky-ness ensues.

The good; it’s a traditional hand drawn animated movie, I love those.  But it does have some computer generated stuff, like the cars and stuff.  The story telling of the film is amazing, it does it almost with out words.  I’m not sure if there were supposed to be subtitles, but there weren’t any when we watched it.  But I was still able to comprehend what was going on, that to me is good film making.  The backgrounds were wonderful, at times they looked like someone took a sketch pad and colored them.  Just wonderful animation all around.

The bad; it’s a slow paced movie and I think this hurts the film because when people see that it’s animated, they come in with a certain set of rules on how it should be.  This movie reminded very much of Grave of the Fireflies.  It’s a story that could’ve been live action, but they chose to animate it, why?  Who knows.  The story is a little too much on the depressing side for me, I know, it’s French.  And the pacing could’ve been sped up in some parts.

I’ve since read that The Illusionist is based on an unproduced script by French mime Jacques Tati.  It’s said that, much like Grave of the Fireflies, the motivation for the script is a personal letter to his estranged daughter, Helga-Jeanne Schiel.  But no “dedication” credits are given to her at all.

The Illusionist isn’t for everyone, it’s slow paced and semi-depressing.  But it’s filled with beautiful images and wonderful animation.  It probably won’t win for best animated feature this year.


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