News, reviews

The Prestige

From Richard Howells

People who have been to my Visual Culture lectures won’t be surprised that I’ve been to see “The Prestige” (dir. Christopher Nolan, USA/UK 2006). Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine, it’s about reality and illusion, set in the world of professional magicians in turn of the century London. I particularly enjoyed the characters’ musings about the way in which an audience wants to be deceived; to know that what they see is an illusion and yet still be enthralled by it.

The “prestige”, in case you were wondering, is a professional term for the final “act” of a magic trick –the part in which (for example) the vanishing lady re-appears.

What I can’t do here is discuss my central concern about the (complex) plot without spoiling the twist –so I won’t! So, if anyone wants to talk with me about this, let’s do it off-blog. In the meantime, I do recommend the film (which is on a general but fairly limited release), subject to this one major reservation.

Oh –and look out for a very good cameo appearance from David Bowie.

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