the illusionist

How do you follow up 2003’s visually elegant Belleville Rendez-vous? Well for France’s Sylvain Chomet the answer was, ‘with more of the same’.

His sparkling paintbrush in 2010 brought us The Illusionist, a love
letter to another French filmmaker Jacques Tati

(who wrote the film himself in 1956 but it never made production) and a poetic lament for the fading interest in a magician’s trade.

Brought to screen with passion, poignancy and a genuine sense of fun, Chomet’s choreographed animation is a delight throughout.

Much talk has been made of Toy Story 3’s ending reducing grown men to tear’s,

but for real melancholic beauty this year The Illusionist shined brightest.

inception
This year, opinions raged over Christopher Nolan’s ninth feature film. Was Inception groundbreaking

cinema or a daft imitation of a sub-standard computer game?

There are pretty sound arguments from both sides of the fence on that, and that’s exactly why it sits comfortably on any list.

We were plunged into confusion right from the off and we continued to ask
questions throughout,

meaning that whether we enjoy the experience or not we had to hand it to Nolan – the sheer balls of it far outweighed most blockbuster ambitions.

And if the heavy plot handling bored you silly you could still admire the huge performances,

a memorable soundtrack and incredible special effects,
which might not be true of the inevitable sequel(s).

Without labouring the metaphor any further, the duo
carve a downbeat niche from Joni’s mournful beats and Sara’s RnBinflected vocals, like the sadface rave of The Knife or Crystal Castles.

Annoyingly, all that ethereal dreaminess falls pancakeflat on stage at XOYO, with the untreated vocals too plain and too high in the mix to chime with the lazy Liz Fraser comparison I’d heard.

While the beats are interesting enough – if nowhere near ground-breaking – the show would be more captivating if VoT fucked with the good-girl vocals.


There’s no denying the potential

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