Harvey O’Brien
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The joyless magic of Lord of Illusions
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Clive Barker found joy in painting at the age of 45, two years after the release of Lord of Illusions , his third and last feature as a film director. The narrative attempts both to fuse and to subvert both film noir and horror, playing on and then undermining the audience's expectations of these genres and their ephemeral pleasures, drawing in and pushing away in the same gesture. Barker has stated in interviews that his intention in creating Harry D'Amour was to give audiences a protagonist who was basically good, a real hero. Lord of Illusions is almost the antithesis of 'The Last Illusion'. In his analysis of the film, Jonathan F. Bassett observes that Lord of Illusions is centrally concerned with death anxiety, and notes that in this very scene what Nix does is force Swann to confront the reality of the human condition.

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Clive Barker

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