special-1--2007
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A PRESTIGE

03 November 2007

So, this is the first of five August Specials. This one is made by Jasper van Emmerik, a fellow Dutch cartoonist. Lovely take on Nuch there, I never expected him green!

Last weekend I saw The Prestige, and it made a very deep impact on me. As in, I couldn't stop thinking about it for approximately 24 hours after seeing it. Hugely disturbing and immensely beautiful. The movie was made by the same team that made Batman Begins (a fantastic movie in itself), with nearly the same cast (Christian Bale, Michael Cain) and writer Christopher Nolan. When I first heard the news that they would be making a movie other than the sequel to Batman Begins (which I'd fain see called Batman Begins Again), I was disappointed. After seeing what became of the project, I'm starting to think Batman might disappoint, now.

But let's be honest, the man (Nolan) is a capital writer and director. Just witnessing such a finely structured plot is a complete delight. Every event in the film -every revelation, every surprise- is foreshadowed by artful metaphors and crafty devices. I won't spoil anything of the film, it's much too nice an experience for that. But that single aspect: the film showing nothing that isn't relevant symbolically to its plot; symbolism that constantly refers back to itself into making a perfect circle, is the highest in cinematographic accomplishments. That is why I so loved Shaun of the Dead a few years back; it too is built up with events telling you exactly what's going to happen later in the film, and then dazzling you with its mastery of the medium. The Prestige, I would dare venture, goes a step beyond that, though. Where Shaun of the Dead is content with having the references be snippets of dialogue or simple plotlines; The Prestige actually manages this through symbolism. The fear of spoiling prevents me from giving any examples, but you'll see it once you see it.

Hands up everyone who has followed all of this. I know I'm not raising my own, that's for sure.

Oh, and even David Bowie's in the movie, in a beautiful part! What more can one man ask of a movie? So, onwards to Batman Begins Once More. I'm sure it'll be excellent. But I sure am already missing those magicians.

Roderick.