Sunday 22 August 2010

The Illusionist and the Blue Dress

We took a trip to the watershed last night to watch the Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet. I give it complete 10 out of 10, it really was as near to perfect as you would want a film to be and was spine tingling charming the whole way through.

There is a gorgeous scene in the film where the girl stops to admire a dress in the window display at Jenner's department store. The dress is blue and it sparked up memories of the classic Disney films featuring the female characters in blue dresses, maybe this is a nod to the old masters of hand drawn animation?

I can't remember the last time I stopped in front of a shop window and really longed for a dress (unless it was  vintage or I was in New York in the perfect setting outside Bergdorf Goodman's). Some dresses seem to be able to hold that aspirational feature, a shape, style and presence that you don't usually get with many dresses today. Certainly not on the high street.
We are now such heavy consumers that if we like a dress, we buy it, it gets bundled into the carrier bag and off we go without too much care. The dress will then be worn, spilled on, end up on the bedroom floor, in the washing machine, hang around and then off to the rag man or land fill.

I want to make the dress in the shop window, the one you stop and long for, the one that makes you feel wonderful, that's beautiful to touch, the one that will still be with you in twenty years time, that a girl finds in your wardrobe and then makes her feel special. It may be asking for a lot but I can at least try!

I love the way that the Illusionist perfectly demonstrates how old fashioned skills should be treasured. The film is about the end of an era, the way the magician no longer amazes his audience over modern amusements is heartbreaking. In ending with 'Magicians don't exist' sent me into a blubbering mess.

The one noticable part of cgi whirling round Edinburgh for two seconds, looked cheap and I hope this was there to make a point. It hit home in a big way and knocked most cgi animations to the ugly pavement next to Tesco's.  

Old skills rule! xxx