The Fall (2006)
Dir.: Tarsem Singh, 117 min.
Los Angeles, circa 1920s, a little immigrant girl finds herself in a hospital recovering from a fall. She strikes up a friendship with a bedridden man who captivates her with a whimsical story that removes her far from the hospital doldrums into the exotic landscapes of her imagination. Making sure he keeps the girl interested in the story he interweaves her family and people she likes from the hospital into his tale.
“Tarsem Singh’s ‘The Fall’ is a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms. Surely it is one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself. Tarsem, for two decades a leading director of music videos and TV commercials, spent millions of his own money to finance ‘The Fall,’ filmed it for four years in 28 countries and has made a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it.”
Part of our summer film series: Stepwells on the Silver Screen
Located in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, a stepwell known as Chand Baori—with 3,500 steps zigzagging down 13 stories—is perhaps the most recognizable of all stepwells. Now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, the thousand-year-old site has been featured in several major motion pictures, including Tarsem Singh’s 2006 adventure fantasy The Fall and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Director Amol Palekar’s Bollywood romance Paheli (2005) includes stunning scenes filmed inside the stepwell Hadi Rani Ki Baori, built in the 12th century and also located in Rajasthan.
Co-sponsored by Asia Society Southern California.
Related Exhibition: India’s Subterranean Stepwells: Photographs by Victoria Lautman.
Since the 5th century, stepwells have served as water-harvesting systems that descend into the earth and enable communities to access the water table or rainwater gathered below. A selection of 48 photographs by journalist Victoria Lautman captures the diversity and sublime beauty of these architectural marvels.
Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 398 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd | $13/day. Rideshare drop-off 305 Royce Drive.