Thursday, 19 February 2009

the fall

the fall
Tarsem has created some beautiful imagery in The Fall
"A mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms" - Chicago Sun-Times

"(The) images amaze precisely because they are quite evidently real, bursting with the life and detail that elude even the most advanced digital artist" - Variety

"Breathtaking fantasy" - Washington Post

Celebrate the imagination with visionary director Tarsem's fabulist epic adventure, The Fall, premiering in Australia this April as part of ACMI's First Look program.

The Fall is Tarsem's career-project and with it he has passionately crafted a startling epic adventure, building a world so lush with colour and imagery that it dazzles the senses. Visually, The Fall is a work of art - a tableaux whirling with colour, breathtaking geometric designs and romantic landscapes so wonderful it is hard to believe that they are real locations and not digitized.

ACMI Head of Film Programs Richard Sowada says that The Fall is an incredible visual feast. "Tarsem not only creates this exotic fantasy world but also showcases our own world without the use of special effects. His vision for this film is so gloriously clear that it is obvious he has passionately crafted each of the images in this film, at these locations, in his head at least, over years and years."

The Fall is set in Los Angeles in 1915. Roy (Lee Pace) a movie stuntman in hospital after an on-set accident befriends young Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) enthralling the child with tales of make-believe as he weaves a fantastical story of revenge, adventure and love. Involving a swashbuckling band of resplendent heroes the exotic fable begins to reflect the darker demons at work in Roy's own troubled mind.

The star of this film is undoubtedly the then six-year-old Romanian actress Catinca Untaru in her debut feature film. It is through this child's imagination we see the spectacular imagery, interpreted from Roy's storytelling.

Maverick and visionary director, Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, known only as Tarsem professionally, is a veteran music video and commercial director. Tarsem spent his career directing visually exquisite advertisements and video clips such as R.E.M's 1991 clip Losing My Religion until directing his first feature film in 2000, the psychological thriller, The Cell, starring Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn. Despite the films box office success, Tarsem did not desire to shift into feature film making, although recently he worked as Unit Director in India on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Fall has been described as a "vanity project" and "one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself". Tarsem spent millions of his own money to finance The Fall, treating it as a personal project since conceptualising it 23 years earlier and beginning plans 17 years before production even began.

Throughout his career as a commercial director Tarsem discovered some of the impressive locations he was to use for the film, and his experience in and exposure to these locations earlier meant that he was able to conduct these shoots with a very small crew on a minimal budget.

It is estimated a that if The Fall was created by a film studio, production costs would have soared into the tens of millions of dollars, however Tarsem's experience and good fortune meant that he was able to piggyback on some commercial projects enabling him to film in the desired locations around the world. In the end, he filmed in 28 countries over four years.

The Fall premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and has since screened at film festivals in Berlin, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Seattle and Los Angeles, to mixed reviews. In 2007 it was awarded Best Film at Sitges, the Catalonian International Film Festival, Spain. Upon its limited theatrical release in the United States in 2008, The Fall continued to polarise cinema goers.

Despite the divisiveness of this film Tarsem maintains that he never pitched it as anything other than fantasy film created through visual spectacles. Although now close to cult status, Tarsem is philosophical about the film's future, "It's a style that will never be in" he says, "but it will never date."

"(Tarsem) 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." - Chicago Sun-Times

The Fall will screen at ACMI Cinemas from Thu 9 Apr - Sun 12 Apr 2009

More information and session times posted soon here

Movie website:

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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