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'The Fall' to Screen at UW-Eau Claire Feb. 5-8

RELEASED: Feb. 2, 2009

poster for The FallEAU CLAIRE — "The Fall" — a film Roger Ebert describes as "a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free fall from reality into uncharted realms" — will screen Feb. 5-8 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The University Activities Commission of the Student Senate will present the film at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

"'The Fall,' which will be on my list of the year's best films, is setting box office records on the art house circuit," Ebert wrote. "It is almost impossible to describe. You can say what happens, but you can't convey the astonishment of how it happens."

The film was a 15-year labor of love by Tarsem Singh Dhabdwar, a director who made millions filming commercials and music videos (REM's "Losing My Religion") and spent them on this film.

"The Fall" is set in a half-deserted hospital in Los Angeles, circa 1915, where a movie stuntman named Roy (Lee Pace) lies seriously injured after a stunt gone wrong. He is befriended by Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a curious 4-year-old girl with a broken arm. The stunt man begins to tell the girl a story, "an epic tale of love and revenge," initially to amuse her, but soon with another objective in mind. Roy's story is pure melodrama, but it is shown through Alexandria's eyes — and the view is breathtaking.

"After filming all the scenes involving the two characters, Tarsem shot her visions in 28 countries over a period of four years," Ebert wrote."There are sights in the film you cannot imagine are possible, but Tarsem says he used no computers to create them. They exist."

The Philadelphia Inquirer called the film "dazzling and delirious, a celebration of cinema, of old-fashioned storytelling and globe-hopping spectacle ... Like 'Pan's Labyrinth' and 'The Wizard of Oz,' Tarsem's film dives deep into the imagination of a child, taking characters from her real world and transplanting them into the fantasy. Thus a hospital nurse becomes a princess (Justine Waddell), a movie star becomes a villainous despot (Daniel Caltagirone), a man delivering ice to the hospital becomes a be-horned warrior (Marcus Wesley). And Alexandria and Roy become linked, like a father and daughter, as they traverse majestic terrain, fending off evil spirits and enemy hordes."

The 117-minute film is rated R.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby and will be sold at the door.

Visit the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133, for more information about the campus film series.

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JS/NW

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