The Fall

Director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar's followup to the The Cell is generating attention, not only for its imagery:

an underwater shot of an elephant swimming gracefully overhead, a palace courtyard built out of interlocking staircases that might have been designed by M. C. Escher, a village clinging to a mountainside where all of the buildings seem to have been individually painted in subtly different shades of inky blue.

but also for how the visuals were created:

These images amaze precisely because they are quite evidently real, bursting with the life and detail that elude even the most advanced digital artist. “I decided it wasn’t going to be C.G.I.,” said Tarsem

And, how did Tarsem find the money to shoot all of this?

Then he went to work on the fantasy sequences, saving time and money by piggybacking on his commercial assignments. “I shot first in India, then in Namibia. The crew got smaller and smaller. I would only do adverts in areas where I wanted to shoot: China, Argentina, Bali.”

and:

“Had a studio done what he did, it would have been an $80 million movie. But he’s so experienced at it and knows people in all these countries and knows how to shoot with a tiny crew. That’s how he got away with it. But still, he spent his own money, which is insane.”

On the insanity issue, Tarsem concurs: “It had to be made by somebody at a mad junction in his life.”

Ha! The Onion's AV club writes of the film that "it's the most glorious, wonderful mess put onscreen since Terry Gilliam's Brazil."

The trailer is here:

and another extended sequence:

Should be glorious eye candy.

Update: Hidef trailer here.

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- May 17, 2008 9:07 AM // Film