"Magicians" (2005) is from the same director who gave us the very solid "Spider Forest" (2004) and "Feathers in the Wind" (2004). The man was completely on fire during this two-year period, since all three of these films are expertly crafted and very entertaining.
The story of "Magicians" revolves around the reunion of a rock band at a bar in the snowy woods while the spirit of a deceased band member watches over them (a monk also pays a visit). Originally released as a 30-minute short film, this is the expanded version that was shot in one single 96-minute take. Quite a feat. The important thing, however, is that the single-take structure avoids becoming a mere gimmick because it's used to compliment the mood and characters. This film flows remarkably well and has an unorthodox feel to it, almost like a "magical stageplay" that takes place inside the bar as well as outside in the forest. One very cool aspect is how this film communicates flashbacks without the need for editing, which is really neat. The actors turn in some very good performances, and the relationships between the characters feel genuine and absorbing. My favorite scenes are the ones in the forest and any shot where the spirit playfully lingers in the background. A very unique, obscure film that's worth seeking out.
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