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Director Sylvain Chomet On The Illusionist
The animation genius talks us through his latest film

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Sylvain Chomet, director of the barmy but brilliant Belleville Rendezvous, is back this week with The Illusionist, the bittersweet tale of a magician in the dying days of the music hall who finds an unlikely family in Edinburgh. It’s based on a script written by French comic star Jacques Tati, written in the 1950s but shelved until now. We got hold of Chomet and persuaded him to talk us through his latest animation

WORDS HELEN O'HARA
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Director Sylvain Chomet On The Illusionist | His Inspiration
His Inspiration

This film is based on an unmade script by legendary French filmmaker Jacques Tati, the man behind comedies like M. Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle.

“I love Tati, but for me it was not the fact that it was Jacques Tati’s script that was interesting, but that it was a script for live action. Making it work in animation was a very big challenge. What was also interesting was the fact that this script was very different from everything he’s done before. It’s not like Monsieur Hulot; it’s a very personal story. There are quite a lot of troubles and the time is passing which you don’t really see in his films. In most of his films – like M. Hulot’s Holiday – he comes into this place and the action takes place there and then you leave, but you actually don’t follow him in his struggles.

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