Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Three Magicians 

I saw both The Prestige and The Illusionist this past weekend -- with two reviews of the former scheduled for the website, I made a point of seeing it Friday evening, and then circumstances invited seeing the latter on Saturday. The Illusionist has been out for a month or so, and I'd considered assigning reviews of it, but timing with the reviewers didn't work out and I wasn't sure it was even relevant for a website focused on SF and fantasy.

Both films are worth seeing, though I think The Illusionist is probably better seen first, since it's a rather simpler, more straightforward, more linear-plotted story about a magician/illusionist than the far more complex Prestige. As for the relevance of The Illusionist to SF/F, I wouldn't want to spoil anything, but I will say that it would be rather difficult to review, especially in the way it presents magical tricks or illusions (i.e. it uses FX), without revealing whether or not it 'really' is fantasy.

I see from comments trickling in to my HP Lovecraft posts that I need to address the topic once again, in terms of 'reviewing' the stories, saying what I personally think about them according to my own reviewing standards. I will do so, though in the context of what kind of sense it makes to 'review' works that are already part of a literary 'canon'...
I think it makes perfect sense to "review" HPL for today's audience. After all, we want to know whether it's worthwhile to bother to read him for purposes of casual entertainment, not as a scholarly pursuit. I've already made up my mind on the subject, but I'll bet most of your readers haven't. If you could help them to do so, I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated.
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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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