Director: Stobe Harju

I was pretty excited to watch Imaginaerum coming into Fantasia, as I will be any movie that features creepy, steam punk snowmen in aviator caps. I had expectations that this film would be the next “Never Ending Story“, a fantasy tale that wouldn’t be afraid to cross over to the dark side and would allow itself to be scary. Visually, the film plays with light and darkness quite well, and the contrast help to orient yourself between the real and fantasy worlds.

The imagery is quite slick, but at times it almost seems a little too slick, and that sort of hints at one of the problems I had with the film, in at times, it seems like it wants to be a music video rather than a fantasy movie. Sadly, it seems as if this was completely intentional. Director Stobe Harju’s previous experience comes in the world of music video direction, and he pulls out a lot of tricks from that toolbox to good effect, though at times he probably should have held back a little bit. Some restraint in the use of sharp angles and the ever-present blue cooling lens filter could have helped. The visual effects were often very cool looking, but they could have used a little more… grime. Something to help separate the actors from the sound stage, and make it seem a little more like they were actually interacting with the world they were supposed to be in.

The full title of the movie is “Imagineaerum by Nightwish“, with Nightwish being a symphonic heavy metal band from Finland who both provide most of the music for the movie as well as appearing extensively in the film. Look for lyrics like this from the song “Storytime” (from the soundtrack):

I am the voice of Never-Never-Land
The innocence, the dreams of every man
I am the empty crib of Peter Pan

So dark, and yet so obvious. It’s very telling. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…

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