Shut Up and Tell Me A Story: The Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati

by December 26th, 2010 - Culture » Film and TV »


copyright Sony Classics

I found myself suddenly capable of emitting deadly lasers from my eyes on the way home from the Paris Theatre after having viewed The Illusionist.

I believe the incident to be purely coincidental…

…but I did certainly find Sylvain’s Chomet‘s new aimated film a fine, fine time…

While his previous film, The Triplets of Belleville, shared aesthetics with the work of and was dedicated to Jacques Tati, The Illusionist is actually crafted by Sylvain Chomet from a script written by ati, centering around a very M. Hulot-like character named Tatischeff, an old illusionist lost adrift in a world that is passing him by as he comically/desperately attempts to shuffle along…

While slightly more depressing and with a slightly quicker pace, it is still very much that same blessed atmosphere of a Jacques Tati movie, the exhalation of characters across the screen, a long slow singular waltz, both playful and sad, through a far-gone time period that really never was, the central character surprised at where he’s landed after standing still all these years, striking a pose like a soft question mark that shrinks into a period that offers no answers. A silent movie…so much stronger for its art because it is a decision, not a limitation forced upon it…

A Jacques Tati movie is like a song…some impossible, traditional French folk jazz tune that simply came bubbling out of a brook; so easy to lose yourself to the popping cartoon cobblestones of one’s mind, imagining yourself a wonderfully choreographed man out of time, both clumsily and gracefully making your way through the world…

Clearly, some night I will be doing this…my head plugged with two ear-buds leading me spinning through a collapsing midnight neighborhood as I playfully take a soft-shoe silent movie step around some wrong corner…finding the soundtrack quickly ended and myself raped and killed…

That last part…isn’t in any of the movies. I’m just being realistic…

The Sporadical skeptically promotes the following:
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