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Film Description
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Film Title:
The Fall

Director: Tarsem
Country: India/United Kingdom/USA
Year: 2006
Language: English
Time: 117 minutes
Film Types: Colour/35mm
Rating: 14A
The Fall

Saturday, September 09    3:00 PM    VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN)  Buy tickets now
Tuesday, September 12    8:30 PM    VARSITY 2  Buy tickets now

Foreign Sales Agent : Treetop Films 

Executive Producer: Ajit Singh, Tommy Turtle
Producer: Tarsem
Screenplay: Dan Gilroy, Nico Soultanakis, Tarsem, based on the film Yo Ho Ho by Zaco Heskija
Cinematographer: Colin Watkinson
Editor: Robert Duffy
Production Designer: Ged Clarke
Music: Krishna Levy
Principal Cast: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru, Justine Waddell, Daniel Caltagirone, Leo Bill

This unclassifiable work from advertising and music video superstar Tarsem is easily the most visually innovative film in recent memory. He has created two hours of astonishing images with colour palettes that literally dazzle the viewer with their complexity.

Such an eye-popping undertaking requires a grandly epic story to match – and this one goes big. We start in Hollywood in the twenties: Roy Walker (Lee Pace), a stunt man, has just hurt himself terribly while trying to mount a horse on a railroad bridge. Convalescing in a beautiful, austere old hospital, he learns that he may lose the use of his legs. A respite from his deep depression comes in the form of a little girl named Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), an immigrant from Eastern Europe who has broken her arm picking apples. In her, Roy sees an escape. They make a deal: he will tell her the most fantastic story imaginable and she will steal morphine from the hospital pharmacy for him, just in case he cannot take it anymore.

So begins a most extraordinary tale featuring five heroes, each from a different corner of the globe, all out to avenge the wrongs wrought by a powerful aristocrat. Fiercely elaborate and multi-layered, it speaks to lessons learned from war and revenge that are bracingly current.

The Fall was filmed in twenty-three different countries and features a cast of thousands. Fantastical creations derive almost entirely from Tarsem’s incredible eye for locations and visual effects. In a sense, the film is as much about cinema and its possibilities – reinforced by a heartbreaking montage of classic silent film stunts at the movie’s end – as anything else.

Because of the film’s four-year shooting schedule and constant need for anonymity in remote locations, the actors are not well known. That makes the performance of Pace as the stuntman – and “Black Bandit” in the fantasy sequences – all the more wonderful: he is captivating in two very different roles. So too is wee Untaru as the girl, her insouciance and openness to danger reminiscent, oddly, of Victoire Thivisol in Jacques Doillon’s Ponette.

This is the power of cinema at its grandest and most expansive. Awe awaits.

- Noah Cowan

Tarsem was born in India and studied at the Art Center in Pasadena, California. He has directed many acclaimed music videos and commercials, winning a Britannia Award, the highest honour of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA/LA), in 1999 for excellence in commercials direction. His feature films are The Cell (00) and The Fall (06).

Associated with European Film Promotion,
an initiative supported by the
European Union’s MEDIA Programme.
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