Thursday, June 11, 2009

Picture This

Tarsem (who formerly came with a surname, Singh) proved last year with The Fall that he holds a unique flair both for truly cinematic imagery and for storytelling that folds this into narratives that reflect on the human mind, its intricacies and dazzlingly imaginative capacity. Of course, I wouldn't have been surprised by this had I already seen his 2000 debut The Cell, but I've only just now caught up with it. Though in a completely different category from The Fall- an 18 certificate to The Fall's PG- they are in fact remarkably similar, entwining 'real' and invented, unreal worlds together to demonstrate how distorted they can become.

The Cell
is rather marvellous, in case you didn't know- haven't you been reading Nick Davis?- and I encourage you to seek it out if you haven't already (as long as you can handle such disturbing sights as a man with rings all over his back suspended painfully in mid-air, and a horse diagrammatically dissected into slices), but instead of harping on about it all, I've instead capped some tempting pictures of the sort of delights on offer. No, no horse insides- I'm not really a costume nut but Tarsem's costume designers really have the flamboyant, extravagent flair in their costuming that makes me sit up and open my mouth in astonishment. And how can you resist a film in which Jennifer Lopez (who's rather good by the way) dresses up like a nun? Sorta.


J.D. said...

This really makes me ask myself WHY I HAVEN'T SEEN THIS YET.

Glenn Dunks said...

This movie truly is something special. I know a lot of people think it's a clear case of (disgusting) style over substance, but if all stock standard Hollywood thrillers were as inventive as this then the cinema would be better off.

BTW, Tarsem used Eiko Ishioka for costume designer on both The Cell and The Fall. She is a master and won the Oscar for Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Cal said...

Welcome back! :-)

I really like The Cell. It's the perfect example of a director bringing his own style to a familiar setup. Some of it is downright freaky.

Lopez is indeed good in this, although I think she kind of peaked with Out of Sight.