Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Illusionist

Well it is Saturday again. I have noticed in the forums there is always talk of stage hypnotism and such, so I thought I would use that as a basis for this post.

The Illusionist was the main feature on my personal movie screen this week. I am a little late in seeing it, but wanted to hold onto my love of The Prestige for a while (which is definitely a favorite). And was correct to wait, for The Illusionist has won my heart.

But I digress. Without giving anything away, if you have not seen it, there was a brilliant scene that may have involved hypnosis-like staging. Eisenheim, our protagonist, did a stage show, where he brought up a volunteer from the audience. He instructed her to look directly into his eyes, did a very graceful hand wave in front of her, and seemed to entrance her.

Has anyone of you seen this? It was a beautiful bit of grace and technique, but first (and foremost), in this scene, is this a demonstration of the non-speaking direct-eye-contact induction? If so, how does one do this? And probably less important (but I am still curious), what did hypnotizing the volunteer have to do with the illusion (just to make it more intense?)?


Anonymous said...

Stage magicians traditionally pretend to hypnotise their lovely assistant before levitating them. No actual hypnosis is involved.
Apart from giving a certain mystique to the illusion, in the traditonal method of doing the trick the assistant is very limited in her movements, so having her entranced asleep is an excellent cover for this.

The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Interesting. I can see why it would add some mystique.

But in the movie, it was a volunteer from the audience and had something to do with a mirror and watching her image be beheaded. I know, fiction.