Sunday, February 12, 2006

Movie / Mirrormask

Wow. This film was awesome, one of my lifetime best, way too good for the general public, so only playing at one art theater. A must-see for young ladies with artistic ability.

A teenage girl, with strong artistic talent, belongs to a family that runs a small (but tasteful) circus in England. Already beset by the issues of growing up, she experiences more stress when her mother falls seriously ill. Whereupon she enters a dream world of endless visual inventiveness, puppets, animations, live characters in strange get-ups, and herself walking around in bunny slippers.

Produced by the Jim Henson company, the puppets, costumes, and ever changing scenes are at the level of fine art, as is the musical score, a combination of modern jazz and lots of modern serious, i.e., Bartok-like themes. (Break out the single malt scotch.) Not your typical American film.

In the World of Light the White Queen (her mother) lies alseep and dying, and the Dark Princess (there are "wanted" posters for her everywhere, bearing the girl's face) has stolen the charm that balances the worlds. Without it the World of Shadows, ruled by the Black Queen (also her mother) is rapidly growing and destroying the World of Light. Early on it becomes apparent that these worlds and their inhabitants are based on the girl's prolific artworks, the memory of which helps her find her way through them.

As she looks through windows from time to time, she sees back into her real world bedroom, and the struggles she's going though there, with her light versus dark sides, leading to her ultimate triumph in bringing them back together again.

Originally posted 10-5-2005.

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