The underrated (flawed) masterpiece MirrorMask is the the directorial debut of world renown illustrator and artist Dave McKean (Sandman, Signal to Noise) and his long time collaborator the brilliantly talented writer Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Sandman, Stardust, The Graveyard Book) . Mixing puppetry, 2D and 3D animation, Live-action, Make-up effects and every sort of digital wizardry imaginable with the prestigious backing of The Jim Henson Company MirrorMask was far ahead of it's time even in 2005 and fell by the wayside with a limited theatrical run and went largely unnoticed on DVD in the states. It's a same because despite a few flaws it is a visual wonder to behold a dark intoxicating fairy tale about a young girl who longs to run away from the circus and join real life . After an argument with her mother, who falls ill and is hospitalized young Helena finds herself drawn into another world in a life or death struggle between an evil queen and the forces of good. All of which could be parts of fragmented psyche. It's a "children's film" is as much as 2009's Where The Wild Things Are or The Dark Crystal (1982) is a "children's" film. It's a beguiling, if at times confusing, film that stands as one of the most singular visions in modern cinema. Truly unlike anything you have seen before-or since.
The film certainly benefits from the availability of HD televisions as the murky sepia tones reveal a gluttony of details and amazements. Since so few have seen the film I've chosen MirrorMAsk as January's Cult Cut, watch the whole film after the jump!
CULT CUT: A monthly film series focusing on underrated, cult, banned and experimental films from visionary directors which offer unique or controversial visions of film experience.