The Illusionist

I went to see The Illusionist the other night (the recently released French animation, not the Ed Norton/Paul Giamatti film of a few years back – although that too is good).  I’d strongly recommend a trip to the cinema for this one as the animation is beautiful and deserves to be marvelled at on the silver screen.  There is very little dialogue in the movie, leaving you free to lean back and enjoy the wistful score and winning details.  Best of all are the sweeping scenic shots, which are essentially just landscape paintings given the bare minimum of moving detail.  Somehow they still invoke the kind of natural wonder normally reserved for something with a David Attenborough voiceover.

I also love the character drawing in this film.  Nearly every extra is a grotesque, reminding me of another of my favourite things: the drawings of George Grosz.  The Illusionist’s cast are less savagely rendered, but you can still spot the similarities.

Oh Crazy World, You Blissful Cabinet Of Freaks by George Grosz

Soiree by George Grosz

Soiree by George Grosz

As for me, I’ve got through a very busy period and hope to begin sharing things more often on the blog.  Next up, I hope, some thoughts on a great short book that I just finished, and then the long-promised drawings for a Swedish fairy story.

Hope all is well with all who’re reading this.


Comments 5

  1. Katie wrote:

    I love films like this! It looks a lot like the animation from The Triplets of Belleville.

    Posted 01 Sep 2010 at 3:10 pm
  2. Ali wrote:

    Hi Katie – Yeah it’s by the same director and animating team! If you liked that I predict that you’ll love this. Similar kind of whimsical humour but executed even better this time.

    Posted 01 Sep 2010 at 4:08 pm
  3. millay wrote:

    I went to see this at the Ritzy picture house in Brixton last weekend, an absolutely great experience all round. Such beautiful illustration, and set in such a perfect city for the style of drawing/animation. Thumbs up.

    Posted 02 Sep 2010 at 6:09 pm
  4. Zoja wrote:

    Sorry for the off topic, but simply must let you know I’m falling in love with your book as I turn the pages. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while! And, naturally, I’m pressing it on all my friends. :)
    All the best from Slovenia!

    Posted 07 Sep 2010 at 3:47 pm
  5. Ali wrote:

    Hi Zoja,

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying th book. All the best to you in Slovenia. I love Slovenia – I got engaged there.


    Posted 08 Sep 2010 at 3:38 pm