“They don’t seem to think it’s a trick.”
2006 was quite the year for movies about stage magicians, and as our series continues, we’ve decided to focus solely on the 3 films dealing with prestidigitation that came out that year. Neil Burger’s The Illusionist came out a few months before Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, but it dealt with an entirely different story. True, they both take place in the world of magicians, but while Nolan’s film dealt with a strong professional rivalry, Burger’s dealt with an unrequited love and the fight the two lovers struggle through to be together. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we talk about The Illusionist and the magical year of 2006. We chat about the performances in the film — Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, and Jessica Biel primarily — and how they work for us. We chat about the nature of the ending of the film and how the nature of the end works — or doesn’t. We discuss the actual magic tricks performed in the film, all based on actual tricks of the period, and how the CG embellishments actually may detract from the power of the story. And we talk about the cinematography and score and the strengths and weaknesses in them. We have a great time revisiting this film. Tune in!
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork
- “Eisenheim the Illusionist” — short story by Stephen Millhauser
Assorted Notes & Links