The Fall (2006, or -07, or -08, depending)

I use this as my film during the week we study Photography in my film class. It’s beautiful, colorful, simplistic, sublime, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s directed by Tarsem Singh, here listed simply as Tarsem. If you remember that he also directed this year’s The Immortals, please don’t let that stop you from seeing this film.

The plot doesn’t matter. It’s about a silent film stunt man (Lee Pace of TV’s Pushing Daisies) who is healing after an accident on the set but is deeply depressed for reasons you’ll have to see the film to learn. He befriends a young girl with a broken arm who is also healing. They strike up a friendship that unfolds in layers, and is the heart of the film. But oh, the skin of the film! The Fall opens with perhaps the most stunning, beautiful black-and-white images you’ll ever see. The rest of the film redefines “color film.” See it on the biggest screen with the best resolution you possibly can. To tell you more would take away from your experience.

Lee Pace is a fine enough actor, and looks every bit the part of both a silent stunt man and the dashing hero of his stories to little Alexandria (Catinca Untaru). He does a fine job (and I mean that precisely), especially in the later, most emotional sequence in the film. But Catinca’s performance is one of the best you’ll ever see, ranking at times with Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (which I deeply admire) and Enzo Stailoa (the boy in Bicycle Thief). I realize that the performance was created out of many a role-play moment, and I was ready to admire the process more than the acting at first. But her moments at the emotional height of the film are real and touching and raw. Not sure how that happened, but much of the credit has to go to the young actress. If you enjoy acting, keep an eye on Catinca.

It’s impossible to accurately categorize this film. It’s an homage to film, an homage to the value of film, a story about storytelling, and a touching, human story. But it’s the look of it you’ll most enjoy and remember. Prepare yourself for a beautiful ride.

About Mark DuPré

Retired (associate) pastor at a Christian church. Retired film professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband for 48+ years to the lovely and talented Diane. Father to three children and father-in-law to three more amazing people. I continue some ministry duties even though retired from the pastoral position. Right now I'm co-writing a book, working on a documentary (screenwriter and assistant director), and creating a serious musical drama (I am writing the book and lyrics).
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