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Mathesonlegends says Tarsem Singh's THE FALL was the best flick to play this year's SITGES fest!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Yeah, everybody knows Tarsem's THE CELL and we all know it's pretty amazingly bad. But some of the images from that film still linger with me, so when I read the below review I was very happy to hear that Tarsem might have made a flick worthy of the imagery he can conjure. Enjoy the review and hopefully we'll get a chance to see this flick stateside at some point.

Hi Harry, Mathesonlegends here from a review of Tarsem Singh´s (The Cell) latest film "The Fall" which screened at the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival where i worked at the press department. Sorry i haven´t been able to post this review earlier but was sick for a while after the festival ended. First of all i have to say that "The Fall" won Best Film at this year´s edition of the festival and damn i am happy cause it was one of my fave films if not my only choice for the best film category. "The Fall" tells the story of a little romanian 5 year old girl called Alexandria ( played by Cantica Untaru ) who is staying at an american hospital in the 20´s while she recovers from a broken arm. There she befriends film stuntman Roy Walker ( Lee Pace from new hit TV show Pushing Daisies ), Walker had a stunt gone horribly wrong and is staying in bed till he recovers but possibly he will not be able to walk anymore. Walker decides to tell Alexandria the best story she would ever listen to, "an epic one" in his own words, the story is about five very different men, an african slave, an italian bomber, an indian adventurer, a masked bandit and Charles Darwin, yeah you read correctly, Charles Darwin and these five men have been stranded in a butterfly shaped reef in the middle of the sea by an evil spaniard governor called Odius. As they team up to seek revenge on the man that ruined their lives the story starts to unfold not only for Alexandria´s eyes but for the audience´s too and as things start to happen around Walker and his new little friend he starts adding these events into the story, melting reality and fiction and taking the tale into a new direction. See, Walker is using the story he is retelling as a tool to get Alexandria do for him what he cannot do by himself, in some ways even if this guy is not a bad guy he becomes somewhat selfish and uses his new little friend to get what he wants unaware of the harm he can do to her. The film was shot in 26 countries, all natural locations, and even if you can consider this a fantasy film in the vein of all these fantasy movies that are coming lately, this one barely uses any special effects.You won´t see talking creatures here, or cgi created worlds, the only effects used here are a very subtle cgi transition from a dead butterfly to the butterfly shaped reef where the five heroes of Walker´s story are stranded at and a claymation sequence used to represent an Alexandria´s nightmare. I read this film has not been sold for distribution yet in any part of the world due to very bad reviews from it´s showing at the Toronto Film Festival which amazes me cause the audience that i saw the film with reacted very well to it. Zoe Bell ( Death Proof ) who was president of the jury at this year´s edition of the Sitges Festival was seated two seats away from me quite enjoyed at least from what i could get from her reactions to the film while it was being shown. And after a press showing really early in the morning there was a lot of buzz around the film. The acting was astounding, specially coming from Lee Pace and Cantica Untaru who had to deal with the most emotionally charged scenes, specially at the end, their onscreen chemistry was incredible and it worked marvelously for the final act which brought the audience almost to tears. This is not The Cell, i mean, you can still feel the commercial and music video background that Tarsem has, he even uses some images from his past commercials in the film like that image of an elephant swimming shot from underneath that he used in one of the coca cola comercials he shot. But, this is a more restrained film that The Cell, the camerawork and the imagery are not as explosive or worked out as in the previous film, is more simple and the lack of visual effects also helps to show this which in my opinion benefits the mood of the film. I hope this gets a distibutor, they say it is a hard sell but i think The Fountain was harder to sell and had a bad critic reception from the press when it came out and it found its audience and became instant cult classic.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:16 a.m. CST

    I'm there.

    by SebastianHaff

    The Cell gets shit on by some, but I find myself returning to it every year or so. There's some images in that one that are still hard to shake.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:39 a.m. CST

    Sounds bat-shit insane to me...

    by PoweredUpPacman

    ...but in a good way. And btw: I didn't hate The Cell. It had some pretty good stuff in it. Too bad turned out to be a bit of a jumbled mess. Hope Singh did better here.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:43 a.m. CST


    by ironic_name

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 3:32 a.m. CST


    by MaxTheSilent

    No question.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 4:31 a.m. CST

    I HATED the cell

    by D o o d

    and I'll avoid this one by a mile. This Tarsim geezer should stick to making pop videos. You can't sell a film on imagery alone. The Cell proved that beautifully. Nice imagery, Crap movie!

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 4:46 a.m. CST

    I think we can all pretty well agree...

    by The Mothman

    ...that The Cell was not a great film. I'm still going to throw my lot in with 'disappointing because it could have been brilliant', as opposed to 'utter shit'. I'll take the memorable visuals and solid efforts in most of the other departments of The Cell over Johnny Depp stumbling around on an island.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 5:10 a.m. CST

    It was Ruggero Deodato's fault!

    by Bodenland Unbound

    Come on! Since the start of this edition, the favourite film at Sitges has been Balaguero's [·REC], but Ruggero Deodato (member of the jury) doesn't like the film and proposed "The Fall" instead! "The Fall is a beautyful and -I'm sorry- boring film. The most exciting part in it is the stock footage at the end, so... Bad winner!

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 6:39 a.m. CST

    sounds worthwhile even if leafy

    by pipergates

    the cell was certainly well filmed

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 6:56 a.m. CST

    So it seems that we all agree

    by D o o d

    that The Cell was beautiful looking. I put that down to a lot of good people working on it, not just the director. It still is anbsolute piece of shit though and I wasted my hard earned cash on it. For me BODENLAND UNDBOUND has summed it up for this latest effort. It's a boring film.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 6:57 a.m. CST

    The Cell

    by Jaws Wayne

    Yes, jumbled but I thought it was a worthwhile movie experience nonetheless, a killer score from Howard Shore it had too. This "The Fall" sounds like something I'd definitely wanna see.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 11:49 a.m. CST

    I Wrote Singh off based on the Cell...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    ...but seeing The Fall at TIFF a couple years back completely turned me around. What a beautiful film. And what a disgrace that it STILL hasn't hit theaters over here.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    ...And By Beautiful Film...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    I don't just mean visually.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST

    The Cell

    by Dulcebase

    I loved The Cell! There's too many little moments in there that are just classic for it to be written off as a 'bad film'.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Moriarty once referred to Singh as "near-mongoloid"...

    by Stalin vs Predator

    ...and I wonder why he was so gentle. Singh is what would be left of Uwe Boll if his body was hosed off into a gutter with concentrated chlorine.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Cell wasn't that bad

    by D o o d

    it was shite!

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 5:41 p.m. CST

    So, is this guy now going by two names?

    by Blue_Demon

    I remember reading somewhere that the guy preferred to be known simply as "Tarsem." Yeah, I thought it was stupid too.