28 February 2006
Helena is at the centre of the story. Her parents run a small circus (somewhere in tone between a traditional circus and Cirque du Soleil) but she wants to run away and "join real life." To escape, she draws, endlessly; her walls are covered in fantastic charcoal sketches. When her mother falls ill and her world is thrust into flux, she again retreats into her drawings. On the eve of her mother's operation, she falls asleep and the dream world she enters seems all-too familiar.
Neil Gaiman penned the script after he was approached by Lisa Henson to create a story similar in tone and scope to The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. They then approached Dave McKean (who has collaborated with Gaiman on several children's books) to take the director's chair -- they offered him almost no money but complete creative control. The result is uneven (due to a plot that is too close for my liking to the aforementioned Labyrinth) but still worth seeing -- on the big screen if you get the chance.
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Buy Mirrormask: The Illustrated Film Script.
25 February 2006
Bad luck befalls the household: Eve’s grandmother dies and Eve’s mother miscarries. Eve and her sister learn about Christianity. The girls begin to attend a Catholic church. At first, the family approve of their daughters’ new faith. They see it as a way of doubling down their bid for heavenly protection: with Jesus and Buddha protecting them, how could they go wrong? Their Catholic nun sees Buddhism differently: those who have not renounced all but Jesus are going to Hell.
This is Julie Kwan’s first feature length film. She has struggled to get out a film like this.
Eve And The Fire Horse is a heartfelt and entertaining look at religion and family. It’s full of inspired moments that are reminiscent of movies like Amelie: where household gods come alive; and girls dress up their Jesus in Barbie clothes because he looks cold. The real shame is that you may never get to see this movie. The pessimism of movie distributors and theatre owners is such that this movie may languish in obscurity.