Homo Fabula

Synaptic Misfirings of an unpublished author

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mirrormask review

I watched the DVD version of Mirrormask [Link: Mirrormask on Amazon] yesterday (alas I wasn't able to see it in the cinema), and I think it's one of the most beautiful pieces of film I have ever seen.
The film is directed by Dave McKean and written by Neil Gaiman, which is a recipe for Pure Awesome. And it looks like it. The creatures look like Dave McKean drawings come to life [Link: some Dave McKean drawings], as do the environments. The film is wonderfully written, convincingly acted, and well paced (act three is a little slow to start off, but soon picks up, and looks so good that I for one really didn't mind). There are some interesting themes on childhood and family and loss in there (very nice quote from the evil princess Helena near the middle of act three that encompasses what I mean, but I won't spoil it here).
The virtual sets / actors on a blue screen look is not something I'd like to see for every movie, but when it's executed well it's absolutely beautiful - I've seen it done brilliantly both in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow [Link: Amazon DVD], as well as this film.
I'm not going to try to compare them, of course. They're in the same medium, but that doesn't meat they're really comparable. Sky Captain is a wonderful action/adventure tale, while Mirrormask is a charming childrens fantasy.
The DVD is competently put together and there are no spoilers in the menus. Spoilers in the menu irritate me no end. Over an hour of making of documentaries and interviews sit in there too, and are both illuminating and very, very funny. A disc I thoroughly recommend all in all.