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The Illusionist

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The Illusionist

Postby Sewie » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:22 am

Interview with Sylvain Chomet:

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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Elodie » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:20 am

Well, too bad the video is dubbed in German U_U

Why don't they use subtitles, grrr :roll:

Nevertheless, thank you Sewie for sharing this video =)

Edit : found the French version
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby slowtiger » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:02 am

So - who's actually seen the film? I attended the premiere at the Berlinale last week.
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Elodie » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:03 am

I didn't, but with these excerpts, I can wait to see the full movie =)
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby D.T. Nethery » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:05 am

There is a press conference with Sylvain Chomet discussing the making of "The Illusionist" posted here:

http://www.berlinale.de/en/programm/berlinale_programm/datenblatt.php?film_id=20100073

*NOTE: the press conference with Chomet does not start until the 5:35 mark in the video at the link above
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Klaus Hoefs » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:06 am

slowtiger wrote:So - who's actually seen the film? I attended the premiere at the Berlinale last week.


And...what do you think.....?????
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby slowtiger » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:41 pm

OK - don't read further if you want to see the film without my thoughts about it.

It is a very beautiful, quite slow, and intimate film. It is much smaller than "Triplettes", and with less action. The designs are, as usual, beautiful, great colours too.

As someone who seriously thought about applying to job offers from Chomet's studio some years ago but didn't because of the very high expectations ("excellent in human anatomy", "at least 5 yrs as a Senior Animator on feature films" - I was wondering how many artists who meet his specs he would be able to find in Europe?) I especially kept an eye on the quality of the animation. It was ... mixed. Some scenes were just great, these were all those in which Tatischeff, the main character, played out a longer scene. All the schticks and mannerisms of Tati were present, it was a delight to watch. In most of the other scenes I wasn't impressed that much. Characters often lacked weight, and I was especially distracted by poor inbetweening. If a director chooses a style depending on very exact drawing, this is a real turn-off. Also there was a difference between the very realistic human movements of the two main and the caricatured movements of the supporting characters.

I like Chomet's style, but I was irritated about the design of the female character. It got better over time (I wonder if they used different models because the story covers several months?), but the first minutes with Alice were hard to swallow. Her face looked like a failed effort from Deviantart, I'm afraid.

I have seen 3 films by Chomet now, and there's a clear pattern, or a list of props he doesn't seem able to do without. Steep streets, preference for 1915 buildings, midgets, circus crew, obese Americans, ... The story seemed to be a bit thin. (Same problem with Bill Plympton's "Idiots and Angels".) As much as the old artist Tatischeff was a real person, as much the girl wasn't more than some girl wanting nice clothes. In this respect the whole storyline was very one-dimensional. I also disliked the portrayal of the beat band as poncy effeminated clowns - that was an unnecessary kick in the groins.

In the interview Chomet explained his use of camera, and his no-close-up policy. That may be fine as an hommage to Tati who in most films kept an observer's perspective, but it again kept me from really connect to the characters. The only emotion present is the disillusion of Tatischeff at the end, when he lost nearly everything (nicely done by reducing his baggage piece by piece).

Why he included just one, very time consuming, but essentially wasted and unnecessary 3D shot of Edinborough I don't know. It doesn't fit in, it doesn't do anything that a sequence of simple stills wouldn't have done the same or better. There are some multiplane shots of the city, those are very nice.

However, there's still a lot to like in the film. The rabbit! Just everything with the rabbit is right. The magic tricks! This is just great, as it is very hard to convincingly show stage magic in film, let alone animation.

The film had a budget of 22 Mio €, more than Belleville's 8 Mio $.

At the premiere the credits were missing, I assume they had to do the print in a rush. Instead Chomet asked his crew onto stage, 24 of them were attending. It was a very young and very international crew, few seemed to be older than 30, and two wore a kilt. He tried to introduce some of them, remembering which scene they had done, but in the end they all called out their names themselves. (The Sikh came from New York.) Still a nice move I'd like to see more often.
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Elodie » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:55 pm

Thanks for your intersting mind about the movie, Slowtiger =)
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Paul Fierlinger » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:25 pm

the very high expectations ("excellent in human anatomy", "at least 5 yrs as a Senior Animator on feature films" - I was wondering how many artists who meet his specs he would be able to find in Europe?)

The film had a budget of 22 Mio €, more than Belleville's 8 Mio $.

I can't help but gloat over these two excerpts (and thanks Markus for the excellent review). The arrogance of money! When will animation directors learn what theater directors have known for centuries; you center your creative visions over very present and known to you personalities in the field (aka a certain actor or theater troupe) not available money and a call for at least 5 rolls on a major stage, or excellent in the school of acrobatic neorealism. These impresarios should learn to first find out if the talent is at all available before committing themselves to their grand expectations. If he had offered me one quarter of his budget I could have made that film with Sandra and myself and 2 or 3 colorists alone and I do not have "at least 5 yrs as a Senior Animator on feature films" on my resume. What does "excellent in human anatomy" mean without looking at someone's body of work? I am not sure that I would qualify; I have never taken a nude drawing class in my life; I cannot name more than one or two bones that make up a leg.
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Klaus Hoefs » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:32 pm

Markus, thank you very much for the excellent review, (...that was it what I was missing at Prenzlauer Berg! :wink: )

I think nude drawing has nothing to do with being talented or having skills artists may have - it is handcraft and everybody will make progress here with practice. Nude drawing is more about observing, and in the best case, from real life - not in academic classes (which will give patternlike results). There was a time when it was part of education in Europe and it was common sense to make some drawings of nature when traveling.

I am not sure about Chomet's films (this one and Belleville). To me it looks like a mixture of toon rendered 3D and polished 2D . For Belleville I liked the fancy crude characters and in some parts the action.

To tell from what I have seen by now, by first impression Tati doesn't look fragile and sensible enough in his motions and design. Also I wonder about the thin story again (but having not seen the new one yet) , which already was irritating in Belleville to me. When will animation directors learn that it is about competing with eg Truffaut, Rohmer, Herzog ?
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby malcooning » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Klaus Hoefs wrote:When will animation directors learn that it is about competing with eg Truffaut, Rohmer, Herzog ?

I don't feel it's necessarily a directors problem. There are (feature length) animation directors who sit in the same aisle with the best of world cinematographers.
The problem is with what gets the directors the money to make a film happen. And this problem bleeds well into the world of live action too.
From my stand the ones with the talent are, more often than not, the ones without the go-get-it kind of balls.
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby D.T. Nethery » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:04 am

Here is the first full trailer (in Russian) ----

http://www.afisha.ru/movie/trailer/192512/



Translation of the titles :

---
In life, there are just a few things that are worth doing.
---
But sometimes the world is not ready to receive
---
that, which we are able to offer it.

--
This story tells of the journey of one man
---
which enabled him to keep his magical gift
---
and to rediscover for himself
---
what is worth doing for him in life.

---
From the director of that masterpiece of European animation
---
"The Triplets of Belleville", Sylvain Chomet.

---
Based on the screenplay of the legendary Jacques Tati.

---
"The Illusionist"
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Sewie » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:00 am

That looks amazing!
Thanks for posting.
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Rik Jurriaans » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:52 pm

Stewie?
Do you know if it is going to be released in the Netherlands?
I would kill to see it!

Rik
Im sorry for the bad spelling.
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Re: The Illusionist

Postby Peter Wassink » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:32 pm

before you do anything stupid.... it's playing in Amsterdam, Den Haag en Nijmegen..... now
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