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Archive for October 26th, 2014

I have decided to extend the Allan Fish Bonanza Encore series until Sunday, November 2nd.  With Halloween approaching I’d like to pillage the archives and trot out several of Allan’s reviews in that genre.  His work in horror has been wholly extraordinary, and I’d like to treat site readers to several of his noteworthy pieces on films like The Shining, Nosferatu and Dead of Night among others.  As Allan continues to make fantastic progress in a British hospital, we will spend Halloween with him at WitD with at least a half dozen of his best horror-themed reviews.  Some of us may even engage in some re-viewings of these works.  The one day off will be this coming Wednesday when we will proudly be featuring Jim Clark’s latest film essay.   In any event, after Sunday, the Allan Fish Bonanza Encore Series will still be running every Saturday and every Sunday until May of 2015!            -Sam Juliano

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Note: The twenty-first entry in the stupendous Allan Fish Bonanza Encore series was chosen by WitD site writer Maurizio Roca, who credits Allan for making him “see” the artistry of this film after an initial  viewing proved inconclusive.

by Allan Fish

(USA 2006 131m) DVD1/2

Are you watching closely?

p  Christopher Nolan, Aaron Ryder, Emma Thomas  d  Christopher Nolan  w  Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan  novel  Christopher Priest  ph  Wally Pfister ed  Lee Smith  m  David Julyan  art  Nathan Crowley  cos  Joan Bergin

Christian Bale (Alfred Borden), Hugh Jackman (Robert Angier/Gerald Root), Michael Caine (John Cutter), Scarlett Johansson (Olivia Wenscombe), Rebecca Hall (Sarah), Piper Perabo (Julia McCullough), David Bowie (Nikola Tesla), Andy Serkis (Alley), Samantha Mahurin (Jess), Roger Rees (Owens), Ricky Jay (Milton),

Christopher Nolan’s fifth film was met with muted applause on its release in 2006.  Many critics were impressed by it, yet at the same time maddened by it.  Others didn’t rate it at all and couldn’t take it seriously.  The reasons for ironically slighting this sleight of cinematic hand were numerous, but mostly centred around several factors, the biggest being the release earlier that year of similar magic trick The Illusionist – backed up by the fact that in the UK the earlier film came out afterwards, and received the fate Nolan’s film had received in the US.  That other film was a fine film in its own right, but once the trick is unravelled, there’s not much else to it, while it’s never explained how its protagonist managed to make himself incorporeal.  There is nothing in Nolan’s film that isn’t explained, and yet for all that, it remains enigmatic, multi-textured and involving no matter how many times you see it.  This is not merely a case of pulling the rug out from under the audience, but convincing them that the rug was never there in the first place. (more…)

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