The Prestige

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"The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything."

Right after the amazing success of Batman Begins and right before the brilliance of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan switched gears completely and made a fascinating period piece about two rival magicians duking it out to be the best. The Prestige wasn't the most popular film of his but certainly garnered its share of positive acclaim and audience draw. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we begin the next series on The Next Reel: this time, a series about films that deal with magicians. We start with what we feel is an absolutely amazing film — The Prestige. We talk about the nature of magic tricks as defined within the film — having the pledge, the turn and the prestige — and how the film itself is structured as if it's a magic trick. We discuss the fascinating characters portrayed by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale and the nature of what their characters need to do in order to become the best. We chat about the nature of a film structured in a nonlinear style like this one is, how that ties into the original source novel by Christopher Priest, the nature of the unreliable narrator, and why it all works so well in a film about magicians. And we contemplate the nature of rivalry and how the film not only emphasizes that aspect of competition in everything done by the two principal characters but also by the real-life scientific duelists Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla. The Prestige is a fascinating film that is meticulously structured in a deliberate way so as to create its own magic trick and get the audience every time. We find it extremely effective and have a great time watching it as well as talking about it this week. Check it out!

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The Prestige
$1.99
Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall
The Prestige [Blu-ray]
$9.99
Starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Ricky Jay, James Lancaster