Sunday, November 13, 2011

Immortals (Tarsem Singh, 2011) -- C-

Question One: The image. Question Two: Montage. Both questions fail to be answered in Immortals. Instead, we're left parsing through the dialectics of Tarsem Singh's obvious, traditionalist narrativity. Those expecting more of an impressionist, silent, visually driven opus of slo-mo, color, and synecdoche - look elsewhere, since Tarsem's avant-gardist sensibilities appear only in flashes; Immortals is more 300-esque pap for kids who still get their rocks off on blood, tits, and puerile affect - not real artistry. Unfortunately, the opening image teases with its eloquence, starkly framing the stunned, frozen faces of a dozen Titans, trapped in a cage, holding the bars with their teeth, the body in place of structure, architecture as intertwined with human subject. Such a breathtaking introduction gives way to meddlesome, "arise a knight" oppositions, any sense of visual style and/or personal infiltration consistently squashed by a script chock-full of frustrating, meaningless, empty exchanges, nearly all of them too asinine to remember (or even pay attention to). Tarsem could be working to bridge the gap between screen and viewer, but instead he's content to assimilate with the same trite, "storytelling" methods as nearly every "filmmaker" to come down the pike. There's nothing remotely subversive, affectual, haunting, sensual here. The image doesn't speak - it's stunted amidst a confluence of regressive inclinations/forces.

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