This was the opening film in Bradford’s Bite the Mango film festival that opened on Friday and what a fascinating treat it is. At first I thought it ‘drowned’ in its stunning visuals; it’s directed by Tarsem who, when he was suffixed by Singh, directed The Cell with Jennifer Lopez. However, its postmodern take on The Wizard of Oz proves to be a thoughtful narrative.
Central to the film’s success is one of the most extraordinary performances from a child I’ve ever seen: Cantinca Untaru’s Alexandria is a marvellous mix of charm, ‘innocence’ and knowingness. According to http://antagonie.blogspot.com/2008/06/beautiful-minds.html the film was built, in part, from her improvisations.
The word ‘postmodern’ above might suggest it’s all playful and superficial surface but the film does address interesting issues about children’s fairy tales. The attempt to link this to Hollywood doesn’t quite work but anything that reminds us of Keaton, Chaplin and Lloyd works for me.
It’s on release in the UK on Friday 3: go see.
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