THE CELL. Tarsem (Singh), dir. USA: New Line Cinema, and Avery Pix, Caro-McLeod, Radical Media (prod.) / New Line (USA dist. [others for offshore]), 2000. Mark Protosevich, script. Eiko Ishioka, costume design. Tom Foden, prod. design. BUF Compagnie/BUF, Inc., SpFX.
A stylish psychodrama: think Silence of the Lambs meets Psycho and Dr. Caligari, as painted by Heronymus Bosch, Salvidor Dali, and a Dadaist/MTV convention on a mostly horrible acid trip. Significant here for images of a water torture cell in which female victims are videotaped by automatic cameras: the male gaze demonized and made electronic; also for images of dreamscapes inside the minds of people inside rigid suits inside a laboratory watched by technicians whose instruments to some extent can tell what is going on inside the minds of the subjects. Cf. and contrast DREAMSCAPE (1984), and DREAMSCAPE (2007)mostly contrast THE LATHE OF HEAVEN.[] Also note miscellaneous horrific, low-tech mechanisms and images of women—and at least one boy—reduced to dolls. Briefly discussed by Frederick C. Szebin, "The Cell: Music video director Tarsem enlivens the serial killer genre" (Cinefantastique 32.2 [Aug. 2000]: 8-9), our source for parts of this citation (also: IMDb). (RDE, 22/08/00; 26/XII/14)