Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Rewind #8

Burial: Untrue (2007)

Every generation must come to face the moment when they realize that the world will become their responsibility. It's a daunting thought and one that our culture doesn't adequately or honestly stress or prepare for. That's usually when a lot of people become their parents worst nightmares; experimenting with drugs, turning into alcoholics, or thriving on the fear and learning how to be consummate assholes. The rest of us try our best to make it through without descending into madness. There comes a time when we need a transcendental soundtrack that elevates us beyond the mundane, above the squalor. But it's such a struggle to overcome this heavy burden of expectation, to see beyond the inherent apathy that society passes down again and again. A tone resonates throughout Amerika and it holds the malaise of one purposeful intent; crushing the spirit of youth. Yet, through the foreboding that resides within the heart of every generation comes a beautiful sound that rises like a phoenix, burning bright in the dark. As Burial's Untrue closes with the continuous plea for those who listen to dream, generation zero has found its voice. With each thumping speaker pouring ominous sound into our heads, we are reminded that life is not an easy process but if we give strength to hope, discover the optimistic human spirit, then our voices are as powerful as angels. We can lift our precious lives into heaven and find paths that are empowering and creative and imaginative and loving and hopeful and beautiful and full of wonder and everything that we've always wanted. It's all in there, just close your eyes and feel the music, let it give you strength.

The Fall: Tarsem Singh (2008)

Tarsem Singh's The Fall is a magical epic journey that astounds with every click of the reel. Alexandria, a young daughter of migrant workers in 1915 Los Angeles befriends Roy, a fellow patient in the hospital where she is receiving treatment. They've both suffered from severe falls and it appears that Roy, who does stunts for the studios, may never walk again but even worse, his heart is just as broken as his back and he no longer has a lust for life. Seeing an opportunity, Roy engages Alexandria's confidence by telling her an extraordinary tale of heroes and love and adventure. He hopes to manipulate her into helping him get the necessary drugs so that he can kill himself. Half the story is told through the mind's eye as we follow the tale that Roy regales for the young girl and the other half is within the walls of the hospital. Watching the landscape of this film unfold is so unbelieveably fantastical that you start to question the reality of this world. Everything seems so magnificently perfect that it hardly seems real but it's so enormous that it can't possibly be a sound stage somewhere in a back lot in Hollywood. Well, apparently every place shown in the movie exists out there on this Earth, some of it man-made and some completely natural. All of it is beautiful and magical and it gives this film enormous heft. But the true wonder of this story boils down to the relationship that develops between Alexandria and Roy. Eventually the lavishness of the imaginary world doesn't compare to the emotions that our two heroes must face within the confines of these hospital walls. The two worlds overlap and develop cohesively into a wonderful film that ends with an incredible collage of old stunts from the golden era of movies. Singh is a true master and I'm already searching to learn more about him. Hopefully he continues to astound us with his amazing vision.

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