Saturday, August 04, 2007

I'll Be Your Bad Magician If You'll Be My Source of Income

“Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled.”

Not to bring Hollywood into the picture, but the quote is from that movie “The Prestige,” featuring Wolverine and Batman and his butler.

I’ve always had the idea of a magic trick in my head while watching and working on this show. In the piece I’m working on, I conceived of it having elements of a magic trick. I wanted to elicit that specific “Ta-DAA!” response from an audience. Of course, I’m not a magician, so any trick I may have tried to pull ended up being a bad magic trick, which has it’s own flavor of wow-dom. Hopefully.

My favorite parts in this movie were when the tricks went horribly wrong. Right when the moment happens, when the birdcage collapses on the dove and the bullet blows off a piece of his hand, when the hat falls flatly and dissatisfying-ly to the ground because the look-a-like magician is slow on his cue, it’s that moment where the magician is so so wonderfully foolish.

Even more so when the trick goes correctly. All the bells and whistles, the coat-tails and hats and gorgeous models, and then a real-life elephant disappears (not in “The Prestige”), simply because a black drop is placed in front of it while the red curtain hides the action for a half-second (you’re watching it on a proscenium stage, you’d forgotten to take into account depth). *SPOILER WARNING: skip these last sentences in the paragraph if you care about seeing the movie.* Wolverine simply kills himself over and over again in order to sufficiently disappear. And you thought David Bowie had made a bonafide teleporter. Tsk tsk.

No, the simplicity of the solution is what makes it so jaw dropping and makes me feel so foolish.

The quote at the top, the one said by Austin Powers’ dad in “The Prestige,” regards the magician's audience. The theatre's audience equivalent is that “suspend your disbelief” stuff, right? I’m thinking about the difference between magic and theatre, what’s hidden and what’s shown. Two different perspective’s of a foolish audience, they sign a contract regarding what they’re going to look at, and what they’re going to ignore. Which one do I prefer to be?

Yeah, rent it. It’s a good movie. Jessica says there are too many guys, though, which I agree with. Maybe Catwoman will be in the sequel. They'll saw her in half.


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