Rehoboth Beach Film Society’s Read A Movie series presents “The Illusionist”

August 19, 2013

Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Rehoboth Beach, DE
August 19, 2013

The “Read a Movie” series is kicking off its second year with a screening of “The Illusionist” at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at the Rehoboth Beach Public Library. “The Illusionist” is director Neil Burger’s cinematic adaptation of short story, “Eisenheim the Illusionist” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser.

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and the Rehoboth Beach Public Library co-sponsor the Read a Movie monthly series in which participants are invited to read a short story in advance of the screening, and then gather to watch the film version and engage in lively discussion about how the film compares to its original inspiration.

September’s film takes us to the late nineteenth century in Vienna, Austria where renowned illusionist Eisenheim (Edward Norton) longs to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing. The story begins with a childhood romance between a young and youthful Eisenheim and the upper-class Sophie von Teschen, (Jessica Biel). Their time together eventually resulted in a heartbroken young man leaving Austria to explore the world and perfect his craft. Upon returning to Vienna fifteen years later as a talented and renowned illusionist, Eisenheim dreams of reuniting with the beautiful Sophie, now a Duchess. His hopes of a reunion are answered when he notices that Sophie is at one of his performances. Once he finds out that she is the fiancée of the ruthless Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), Eisenheim begins to test the patience of the soon to be Emperor. As Eisenheim’s magic and mystique further infuriates and threatens Leopold at the royal command performance, the Prince becomes obsessed with exposing Eisenheim as a fraud. Tensions between Eisenheim and Leopold elevate and Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) notices the cat and mouse game between the two. Eisenheim may be able to use his illusionary abilities to free the Duchess von Teschen from the royal house in Vienna, but at what cost? [2006, US, Runtime: 109 min, PG-13]

The popular “Read a Movie” series meets on the second Wednesday of every month at the Rehoboth Beach Public Library. After the film is screened, share thoughts about how well—or not so well—the story was expanded to the big screen. The “Read a Movie” series is open to the public and is free. To receive the stories in advance, email Jamie Rousak, at or call the Rehoboth Beach Public Library at (302) 227-8044.

The mission of the Rehoboth Beach Film Society is to promote the art of film and, through outreach initiatives, to entertain, educate, and enrich the cultural life of local and extended communities. The Film Society sponsors monthly screenings, special events, and the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival (to be held November 6-10, 2013). The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is funded, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on this series, other events, or to become a member, visit, or call 645-9095.


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