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Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 3:11 am
by Guest
yesterday i watched again THE ILLUSIONIST in DvD with the director commentary.
He says that the film could have two point of view:the one that Mr.Kaufman says, and the one that i understood and i think 99% of the audience understood:which is that Eisenheim is a great magician, but has not supernatural powers.
But the director also says, that his intention was to tell the story from Mr.Giamatti's character P.O.V, so it could be seen also that Mr.Eisenheim had indeed supernatural powers, and so the ending would be only a speculation of what happened, as seen by Chief Uhl(Giamatti).

I personally prefer the first solution, which is the most logical one and also the more romantic one.
But i have to say that if you watch again the movie, it also makes perfect sense that Mr.Eisenheim has got supernatural powers, and at the end he becomes a spirit and sends the Orange Tree plans to Mr.Uhl from the spirit world.

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 9:22 am
by Richard Kaufman
I'm sorry, but that's just silly. There is a scene which clearly shows Eisenheim at the end (NO SPOILER HERE) in a situation that makes it plain he's alive and quite happy.
And the plans for the Orange Tree are clearly handed to Uhl by a young boy paid by Eisenheim, who is then followed by Uhl.
So the supernatural business makes no sense whatsoever. Frankly, I don't care what kind of baloney the director spouts after his movie comes out--by then he's usually covering his butt!

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 3:40 pm
by Guest
My complaints about the magic aspect would be eliminated if they'd done just two things:

1. Not had Eisenheim walk past the cop while onstage in that one scene.

2. not showing the assistants saying that no one knows how it's done.

3. finding some other way than the light & heavy box principle to deal with the effect in the command performance. There was even an electric sound effect when the prince took the sword, thus implying the modus, yet it wouldn't work with something long and thin like the sword, as shown.

Every positive review I've read talks about the costuming, the acting, and the vintage look of the movie. Every negative review I've read says that the script has some pacing problems despite the movie looking and sounding beautiful, and that while the film is very nice, one of the reasons it stands out is because of the rest of the dreck being released nowadays.

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 4:33 pm
by Guest
Hi Mr.Kaufman.
I too was bothered when the director explained that the film could be seen exactly in two different keys.
I also understand that the supernatural key would be not fitting in this movie..
but, after the director commentary, i watched again the movie, and strangely, silly as it may seem, the supernatural key is still true, if obviously one chooses to see the film in taht key.
As the director says, also the last scene is seen from the point of view of Mr.Uhl.
If you watch again it, you will see first the expression of Mr.Uhl, who is thinking..and then the final scene.
So, as the director says,Mr.Uhl is understanding the last trick of Eisenheim, or..he is just thinking and convincing himself that all went this way.
In this case, Eisenheim would have joined the spirit world in his last seance.
Mr.Kaufman, try to see the movie another time, trying to see the movie all in the point of view of Mr.Uhl, and you probably see what the director means.
I also must admit that this thing bother me,
the fact that the film could be interpreted in both ways.
And i don't understand why the director sould say shuch thing if this wasn't his intention.
Listening to his comment, you understand that throughout it, he continues to say:"this may be it..but this may also be Mr.Uhl P.O.V..."
Hoping for your opinions.
Best Regards

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 5:32 pm
by Richard Kaufman
I don't buy the notion that the last scene of Eisenheim is entirely (or could be entirely) in Uhl's head. You definitely see Eisenheim, in disguise, running away from Uhl--this is not some fantasy Uhl is having. He sees him and follows him. And it's not someone who looks like Eisenheim with a beard, it IS Eisenheim with a false beard and it's clear that's what it is.

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 6:26 pm
by Guest
I have but two things to add to this discussion. I must point out that at least one of these items may contain a spoiler, so read with caution. (I would, by the way, understand if this post was deleted for the spoilers, but I hope they won't be.)

First, when Eisemheim is packing his workshop, he clearly states to a helper that the projectors stay. This line can (and in my opinion does) remove the supernatural from later scenes.
Second, when the inspector See's/doesn't see Eisenheim run away, he is then handed the directions to the orange tree illusion, indicating that for all things there is a logical explanation.

I believe these two points remove the supernatural from the ending.


Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 6:42 pm
by Jeff Haas
If any of you did children's magic, you'd know it was just a look-away gag.

Inspector: "What magician? I don't see anybody!"

Audience: "There he is! There he is!"

Inspector: "What?? Where???"

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 15th, 2007, 6:58 pm
by Guest
I believe these two points remove the supernatural from the ending.
Agreed. Any comment reinforcing the idea that there was a supernatural aspect to it is pandering to people who want to believe in spirits and pixies. In otherwords don't tell a paying customer he's wrong even if he is...

I was rather disappointed in the film myself and would have rather it had a supernatural ending. I thought the 'cheating' of showing the audience's perception weakened the ending.

I look at The Sixth Sense as a model. A talented filmmaker could make a film honest rather than use abstractions and still convey the truth of the story. I think the director copped out and excused it by saying it was shown as the spectators preceived it.

There's a scene in one of the Indiana Jones films where you see HOW he can apparently walk on air, when it's really just an optical illusion. It could have been done with out the visual "cheating".

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: January 16th, 2007, 4:48 am
by Guest
i must admit that the scene in which Eisenheim is disguised with the fake beard, leaves no doubt that the Supernatural option is out of question.
So i really don't understand why the director says this stupid thing!!

Re: The Illusionist

Posted: December 5th, 2014, 10:52 pm
by Bill Mullins
Some background on the movie and the author of the original story.