I'm writing my first entry using my new computer -- I used some of that bonus money I got the other week to buy a new AMD 64-bit dual core motherboard/CPU/memory combo. I spent the last 24-36 hours putting all the pieces together and re-installing Windows XP from scratch. It's all gone pretty smoothly so far; there were one or two small hitches in getting the sound card to work right, but those were fixed.
To get away from all that, Mrs. Geek and I decided to head out to see The Illusionist. Some may find the ending a little formulaic, but Mrs. Geek and I both really liked it. I've been a fan of Edward Norton since Rounders, Rufus Sewell since Dark City, and Jessica Biel since Ulee's Gold. After reading glowing reviews from the New York Times and Salon.com, this was pretty much a no-brainer for me... but Mrs. Geek took a little convincing. She was won over by the film and we had a very pleasant evening.
I particularly admire the way that director Neil Burger has put together the film. It has a very dream-like quality -- from the smokey opening credits, through the sepia-tone palette of the film, and finally to the silent-movie era type fades. They combine to create a sense that this is more of fairy tale than reality.
The Philip Glass soundtrack definitely underlines this sense of dreamscape. I sometimes have a little difficulty approaching Mr. Glass's work (as Harri3t can attest) but here Mr. Glass has opted against the collection of synthesizers, choral singers, and world music percussion instruments sometimes included in his film scores and instead stuck to fairly straight string-based orchestral arrangements. The repetitive, rhythmic melodies that Mr. Glass loves then become like those ideas that sometimes repeat over and over again in dreams -- lending a beautiful context for the rest of the action of the film. I see from a movie poster that Mr. Glass also completed the score for the new Hilary Swank apocalyptic action vehicle, The Reaping. It should be an interesting contrast to hear what he's done there.
Please go see The Illusionist. After a summer filled with fairly mindless action films, this is a pretty lush, romantic period piece that comes off a bit like a Yiddish folk tale. Consider it a nice grown-up night at the movies.
on 2006-08-26 at 9:50 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond