Tarsem Singh life and biography

Tarsem Singh  picture, image, poster

Tarsem Singh biography

Date of birth : 1961-05-26
Date of death : -
Birthplace : India
Nationality : Indian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-11-14
Credited as : Film Director, "The Cell", "Losing My Religion"

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Indian-born director Tarsem worked extensively in commercials and music videos before making his feature debut with the psycho-thriller "The Cell" (2000), a largely dreamlike film bringing life to the fantastical subconscious thoughts of a serial killer.

Educated at a boarding school nestled in the Himalayas, Tarsem moved to the United States to study business at Harvard. After deciding to pursue film studies instead, the would-be director enrolled at Pasadena's renowned Art Center College of Design where he developed his unique, visually dynamic style.
Early work included a stint directing the 1990 Suzanne Vega video "Tired of Sleeping", but he would become best known for his handling of R.E.M.'s 1991 smash single "Losing My Religion". Drawing on rarely used references like Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and Baroque painter Caravaggio, Tarsem turned out a video that enchanted and confounded the audience, not unlike the effect the often misinterpreted song had.

The video's muted golden color palette and strange sexual imagery separated "Losing My Religion" from countless other videos and was certainly instrumental in the band's big breakthrough. In addition to being nominated for a Grammy, the video was up for eight MTV Video Music Awards and walked away with six of them, including honors for Video of the Year, Breakthrough Video and an honor specifically for Tarsem, Best Direction in a Video. R.E.M.'s domination of the awards ceremony, and Tarsem's eye catching formal ensemble, complete with turban made the honors all the more memorable to the general public.

While Tarsem's work in directing television commercial spots isn't as inextricably connected to him, his work with products from domestic beer and life insurance to luxury cars and designer clothing have earned him accolades and a sterling reputation in the fiercely competitive and highly creative advertising world.

Having previously worked in media that ranges from mere seconds to about five minutes long, Tarsem took on his first feature film project in 2000. With "The Cell", the director hoped that the striking visuals and sweeping yet succinct imagery he employed in his extensive commercial and noted music video work would translate to a large scale feature production. This fantastical psychodrama proved the perfect host for the helmer's skills, demanding an imaginative and dynamic visual accompaniment for a startling and mystifying idea.

The film starred Vincent D'Onofrio as a psychotic serial killer in a coma who is harboring a soon-to-expire victim in a mystery locale. Jennifer Lopez was cast as Catherine Deane a therapist with almost superhuman empathetic abilities drafted to enter the mind of the killer in order to save the life of the doomed young woman. The premise sounds like the stuff of a routine thriller, but what Deane finds in the killer's consciousness is a startling wonderland of beauty and horror. Tarsem's uniquely evocative sensibility elevated the film from a supernatural crime drama to a veritable feast for the senses that at once enchanted and horrified. "The Cell" promised to stand apart from the spate of summer releases much like "Losing My Religion" stood apart from other music videos, making for quite an impressive debut entry.

His second film, The Fall, debuted at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically in the United States in 2008. His third film was 2011's Immortals.He is directing an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm story of Snow White called Mirror Mirror.

Pepsi commercial: "We Will Rock You", directed by Tarsem, is one of the more elaborate Pepsi commercials to date. It combines a gladiator theme with the hard rock Queen's "We Will Rock You". The stars involved in this commercial include Enrique Iglesias in the Europe/US version and Amr Diab in the Middle East version. In Enrique's version, he plays the role of an emperor hoarding Pepsi, Britney Spears, Alecia Beth Moore (Pink) and Beyonce Knowles, all playing similar roles of gladiatrices about to engage in combat for the emperor's and crowd's enjoyment. Ultimately the gladiatrices turn against the emperor and throw him from his seat. On the other hand, Amr Diab's version show the gladiatrices being attacked by a lion after the emperor realized their intentions. Tarsem was commended within the "Making of the Pepsi Commercial" video on several occasions by Beyonce Knowles, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab and Pink.

Mirror Mirror (2012)
Immortals (2011)
The Fall (2006)
The Cell (2000)

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