I'm very grateful to have signed up for the mailing list for the local art house cinema as last Thursday I got an email from the Landmark in Bethesda saying that director Tarsem Singh would be doing a Q&A session following a screening of "The Fall" on Saturday. After seeing it at the DC Film Fest last month I was thrilled at the chance to see it again (glad that it has gotten an actual release and not just film fests) & extremely excited that the director would be there as I am a huge fan of his since seeing "The Cell" when it came out.
It was great getting to hear him talk - the guy is extremely friendly and chatty & goes at a mile a minute. He tells all sorts of crazy stories about how he pulled off this amazing film (shot in TWENTY EIGHT countries and he financed the whole thing himself on his earnings as a top commercial director) and how it had been a personal obsession for about twenty years and hinged entirely upon finding the right child to cast. When he saw footage of Catinca Untaru he knew she was the one & he had to move right away as within six months she would have grown up enough that it wouldn't work. Then when he realized she misunderstood and didn't realize that she was in a movie but thought she would be in a documentary about an actor like Christopher Reeves who was paralyzed that he had actor Lee Pace pretend he actually was and had everybody else in the cast & on the set believe that so their body language would not betray it to the girl so her reactions were real and genuine and not really "acting". The first time she sees him in the film was actually the first time she ever saw him and so on. No wonder he got such an amazing (non) performance and she comes off as the most "real" child in film (such a huge relief from the likes of little Dakota Fannings...)
After he spoke he hung around for a while talking to folks & was happy to autograph my copy of the Cell DVD I brought along in the hopes I'd get a chance to meet him and I told him I really hoped I wouldn't have to wait so long for his next film to which he said "me too!" - he's a friendly, chatty guy happy to talk to the film geeks & hopeful young filmmakers clustered around him. Wow, it was such a treat - I have a feeling that years from now I'll count myself truly lucky to have had this chance as he is a true visionary. I can't wait to see what else he'll do.
And kudos to David "Se7en" Fincher and Spike "Being John Malkovich" Jonze for getting the Fall released! (Amazing enough to see those two names together on the credits!!)
Official Web site (many great photos!
Great Interview with Tarsem on "Aint It Cool" -
Roger Ebert's review (4 stars)
Tarsem and the legend of "The Fall" (article also by Ebert)
he also loved "The Cell"
some of the commercials Tarsem has done -
A great Pepsi ad from India:
you'll never see commercials this cool on American TV -
Nike "Good Vs. Evil"
Levi's voodoo ad
more for Levis
another for Nike
Deep Forest Video
Loosing my Religion by REM
my signed copy of "The Cell" !!