Monday, November 20, 2006

Part 1 - "What you are about to see is considered safe."

Saturday's bit o' culture - away to the cinema to see The Prestige. Well, I had to applaud at the end, because Christopher Nolan has performed the magical act of transforming Christopher Priest's very literary book into a very filmic film. Yet without forcing the effects in our faces (a little doubling up of actors, a spot of Tesla lightning) he's managed to keep the air of a Victorian ghost story - the subtle horror of the situation rather than the unnecessary gore of the modern horror story. In fact, by just changing one small aspect of the central premise he's actually taken the horror of the original story one step further, and all the other changes between book and film follow entirely naturally from that one small change. Clever old Nolan.

Acting's top notch as well. I'm not quite convinced by Christian Bale's accent, but it's just brilliant to see him and Hugh Jackman outside their respective superhero flicks and giving it everything they've got. I think the real revelation, though, is David Bowie as Tesla. What a restrained performance! Admittedly the only other film I've seen him in is Labyrinth, playing himself, so I was expecting "eccentricity", but wow! Proper acting!

I'm still not entirely sure which, if either, is better - the book or the film. They're both great in different ways. Still, I think Nolan could win me over if he, perhaps, were to make a film of Priest's The Glamour, hint, hint.

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