Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Image is everything

Not many of us would have heard of Tarsem. A fewer still would have even seen the first movie he directed - The Cell. I saw the movie after reading the glowing review by Roger Ebert and came away fascinated by a visually stunning movie that had deeper levels than that of a normal psychological thriller.

After a long hiatus he is back with his second movie - The Fall. Roger Ebert spoke to the director and tried to figure out how Tarsem managed to generate all the fantastic images in the movie without any help from computers. Ebert has nothing but praise for the movie and calls it one of the best films of 2008.
Tarsem's "The Fall" is a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms. Surely it is one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself. Tarsem, for two decades a leading director of music videos and TV commercials, spent millions of his own money to finance "The Fall," filmed it for four years in 28 countries and has made a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it.

"The Fall" is so audacious that when Variety calls it a "vanity project," you can only admire the man vain enough to make it. It tells a simple story with vast romantic images so stunning I had to check twice, three times, to be sure the film actually claims to have absolutely no computer-generated imagery. None? What about the Labyrinth of Despair, with no exit? The intersecting walls of zig-zagging staircases? The man who emerges from the burning tree?


Leela said...

Did you know Tarsem Singh is also the director of REM's Losing My Religion video?
His visuals are just awesome.

OK, now I need to see The Fall.

Jaunty Quicksand said...

L, yes, I did know that. When is aw The Cell I looked up his bio and then kept an eye out for him since then.

Visually speaking, he has got to rank right up there with anyone. Stunning movies, the man makes.