The Many Colors of Tarsem Singh's The Fall
As Alex rightly pointed out back in February, the trailer for The Fall doesn't exactly lend much to understanding the film's story. Likewise, the stills Cinematical brings us today are equally confounding. But do we really need to understand what's going on? The Fall is directed Tarsem Singh, the seemingly low-frequency mastermind behind The Cell from 2000. Plot and acting aside, the visuals in that film were positively spectacular. From what we're seeing of Fall, it looks like we're in for another mind-bending exploration of the visual.
The Fall was filmed over a period of four years and in 24 different countries. It's official description sheds a little light on what we're seeing in this pre-release material. "In a hospital a little girl with a broken collar bone meets a bedridden man who starts telling her a fantastical story which reflects his state of mind. As time goes by fiction and reality start to intertwine in this uplifting epic fantasy."
Actually, pre-release is a bit incorrect. While the film makes an official release on May 9th, The Fall premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006. Why has it taken so long to reach the public? Apparently, early criticism wasn't very kind. Thankfully, two important people did like it. David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac) and Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are) are "presenting" the film to limited domestic audiences. Fincher described his impression of the film as being, "what would've happened if Andrei Tarkovsky had made The Wizard of Oz."
I honestly can't wait for this to come out. I've grown pretty fond of the lead, Lee Pace, through his work in "Pushing Daisies," and am amazed at what Tarsem is able to conjure. Interestingly, the guy doesn't actually produce much. This is his first big project since The Cell. Talk about a rare treat.
Tarsem is unapologetically pragmatic, too. "Money makes accountants happy. But I didn't want to end up an old guy, sitting around talking about the movie I never got to make." He financed this project himself, so I hope folks go out to see it. The project's artfulness, the director's sensibility and the general idea of supporting something truly creative should be enough to motivate the masses. I certainly hope so.