Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mirromask (2005)

I love surreal, fantasy stuff. The more it's dark, twisted, and crazy the more I am hooked. One of my favorite artist is Mark Ryden so that should explain alot. My attention is instantly grabbed to surreal surroundings and metaphors. It's the hidden meanings and stories that I aim to understand. I don't get it most of the time but when I do (or when I think I do) I feel a small sense of accomplishment. Surreal art or movies usually go above the masses heads and that's fine with me. Admiring such works almost feels like an unspoken membership into a small community. A community that just views the world in a different way.

This is a movie mainly written by Neil Gaimen. That name should already give you a clue as to what kind of movie this is. Gaimen is...a genre all his own. His stories tend towards the fantastical but I can't clearly classify what he writes. He wrote the "Sandman" comics, "Coraline" movie, "Neverwhere," and "Stardust" comics. I enjoy his works so much. He has a sort of young humor that I enjoy.It's not snarky or snide but with a straightforward and quiet manner.He doesn't try for loud and punchline jokes that gets people peeing in their pants. Just subtle ones that carry more weight that I would snort comradely. Most of his stories are simple. Usually the hero of the story is proving something to someone or themselves, whether they initially know it or not.

"Mirrormask" has a central heroine named Helena. We are introduced to a young girl who is full of imagination yet stifled in the circus family resulting in a surly and immature attitude. An attidude that is quickly dashed when her mother falls fatally ill. Somehow, reality and fantasy realm become merged with the appearance of Valentine, a juggling male whose face is obscured by a mask. Occupants of the whole fantasy realm world Helena comes in contact with is masked. She becomes entangled in a quest to save the Queen of Light, who has also fallen ill. The Queen of Darkness tries to prevent her from finding a cure.

I can't focus on anything else when I watch this movie.I can't knit, sew, draw, or even pet the fat cat. All I can do is watch in awe. I have seen this movie a gazillion times and yet I notice details that I've missed before. It took me awhile to notice the rainbows on the Spinx cats.

The movie so freaking beautiful. I love the dark style. I mean it's literally dark. Like watching through a very old camera. At times, it can be so dark that it's hard to distinguish anything. I wonder if there's a name for this style. Fantasy noir? I'm not too sure...

Reality and fantasy realm are essentionlly "mirrored" to one another. Kind of a "Through the looking Glass" atmosphere except this is more artful than psychedelic hallucinations. Instead of a cheshire cat, we have Sphinx cat who loves to eat books. Or humans. Way more scary yet cute....

I can sit here and ponder the layers of metaphors and parallels but that wouldn't be any fun and wouldn't help you any. Enlightenment of metaphors is a personal high that I won't take away from you. I can only point excitedly at this movie as a sliver of saliva hangs from the edges of my lips.

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