Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Illusionist

Great news, this film is at last out on DVD.  Amazon have been alerted, I expect my copy within a small number of days, and private showings will take place here weekly, or on demand, at least until April (alongside or alternating with Local Hero, The Princess Bride and Rio Bravo).

I bang on to everyone I can trap into being a captive audience about this wonderful movie, which I saw in a little art cinema in Manchester about six months ago.  It's based on a script bequeathed by Jacques Tati and left neglected, or suppressed, for the decades since his death in 1982, until director Sylvian Chomet managed to get the go-ahead to make it.  It's a hand-drawn animation, virtually without dialogue, created by a team of more than forty artists, telling the story of a washed-up conjuror (obviously Tati himself) who migrates to London, then Scotland, with his rabbit, in search of redemption, or just work.  I won't issue a spoiler - just to say it's about love, questioning it, and accepting that it may be time to relinquish it. 

That all makes it sound a bit sombre.  Visually, its beautiful pastels and darkening settings may reinforce this impression.  But trust me, it's hilarious - as a Tati heretic, I'd say it's funnier than anything the man himself ever did.


  1. This is positively spooky. My copy from Amazon arrived last week. I ordered it ages ago. It's next to Local Hero in my favourites. Don't tell me you ordered "A town called Panic" at the same time...Are we on the same lay line or something?

  2. Local Hero's my all time favourite film, as you know Tim. That beach at Camusdarach & Traigh. About the best in the world.
    So I will be ordering the Illusionist on your say-so. Does it have an injured rabbit also?