Charles Darwin Mourns for His Slain Monkey in "The Fall"S

It's 1915, and an injured stuntman passes time in the hospital by telling steampunky superhero stories to a little girl with a broken arm. The heroes of his stories include Charles Darwin (in search of elusive butterfly), as well as an ex-slave and an explosives expert. As Tarsem Singh's new film The Fall weaves in and out of reality, our heroes fight bad guys who are a surreal cross between evil politicians and Hollywood hucksters. Tarsem, who created the visually-riveting scifi flick The Cell, is back with more of his sumptuous scenery. Peek below for more.


I love this image, which is from the silent movie where the stuntman/storyteller got injured by falling off a bridge. It's so preposterous, and so evocative of the bizarre splendor of early-twentieth century film.

Charles Darwin Mourns for His Slain Monkey in "The Fall"S


Here you can see the band of heroes fighting one of the bad guys.

Charles Darwin Mourns for His Slain Monkey in "The Fall"S


And finally, here is a showdown between the alter-ego of the stuntman in his story, and the alter-ego of the man who ran off with his wife — recast as a villain in a land that is a perfect cross between old Hollywood and some fairy tale realm. You can see that the hero is wearing a kind of magician's cloak and has drawn his pistol, while the bad guy looks perfectly 1915 in his striped blazer and white trousers.

Charles Darwin Mourns for His Slain Monkey in "The Fall"S


The Fall opens later this month in the United States. Although advance reviews say the story is sometimes confusing and thin — which could also be said of Tarsem's previous effort in The Cell — I'm still completely excited to see it. I'm just a sucker for superheroes in color-satured, freaky environments. Plus, I love silent movies. So I'm basically the weird-ass target market for this film.

The Fall [official film site]