MIFF 2010 Review: The Illusionist

28 Jul
This delightful yet melancholic foray into the music hall world asks the poignant question – does magic really exist?

A quirky, emotionally crafted animation based on an un-produced script by pioneering comedy legend Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle, Monsieur Hulot’s holiday), L’illusionniste whimsically invites us to explore the eccentric personalities of backstage Paris, the kilt-flying Scottish countryside and finally Edinburgh, the capital of all things arty.

mmmm arty

Along the way veteran magician Msr Tatischeff (Tati’s real Russian surname) takes pity on young Alice and magically presents her a new pair of pretty red shoes. She stows away in adoration while the magician trudges wearily from one audience-absented-auditorium to another to keep up his struggled pretence.

He’s aging, his stubborn rabbit won’t cooperate and the new young rock stars get all the glory. It’s the story of disillusionment – as the child grows up into a woman she lets go of all things childish; the magician realises he can’t maintain his illusion of money and success. He’s even pushed to get a secret midnight job at the car wash. This beautiful, disappointed fairytale speaks louder than words as we shift into a new era, leaving us in wonder of the bygone days of red velvet theatre, magical men and naughty white rabbits.
Beverley Callow


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