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 Guillermo Del Toro presents Vincenzo Natali's Splice

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Donald McKinney

Posts : 24269
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Guillermo Del Toro presents Vincenzo Natali's Splice   Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:53 pm

Canadian director Vincenzo Natali started his career working for Canadian animation studio Nelvana, working on such animated TV shows such as Beetlejuice, Babar, The Adventures of Tintin and Rupert the Bear, he also the storyboards for films produced in Canada such as Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and Ginger Snaps. However, he'd always had aspirations of becoming a filmmaker, inspired from seeing Star Wars as a youngster, he had made short films with his friends ever since he was in High School. One of his short films, called Elevated (1997), would provide the template for his first full-length film, Cube (1997), made for a meagre $365,000, it was a claustrophobic sci-fi mystery about 6 people trying to escape from a succession of cubes, in which alot of them contain deadly traps. It would win favour with alot of critics at international film festivals, and became a small cult hit. It would be 5 years before Natali made his next film, Cypher (2002), an underrated sci-fi mystery starring Jeremy Northam and Lucy Liu, it was a film which questioned existance and identity. A sort of thinking man's Total Recall, (which was a think-piece in itself. Razz) Natali's next film would be a lot more underrated, Nothing (2003), a comic fantasy about 2 friends who somehow wish the whole world away to leave an empty white void. It was never released in the UK, but it's well worth tracking down if you can find it, it's like a lighter version of Cube in a way. Since then, Natali did a making-of documentary for Terry Gilliam's masterpiece Tideland (2005), entitled Getting Gilliam, as well as directing a segment for Paris, je t'aime entitled 'Quartier de la Madeleine', starring Elijah Wood. Now, Vincenzo Natali is back with another film, but he's not alone, this time he has the support of cult Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro, it's a film which should show a darker side to Natali's talents, even darker than his debut film. Yes, Splice does look very queasy, but it's imagery is already reminiscent of the early work of another great Canadian filmmaker, David Cronenberg. Wink

Splice tells the story of two maverick scientists, Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley), who break numerous laws and ethics by deciding to splice together human DNA with animal DNA. The result is a creature known as 'Dren' (Delphine Chanéac) who starts off as a deformed human infant, but soon grows up to become a beautiful winged creature, she forms a bond with her two creators, but then things turn nasty, as they do.

Vincenzo Natali is a very underrated filmmaker, and has impressed so far with Cube, Cypher and Nothing, and it'll be exciting to know what he can do with Splice. He's very imaginative as a director, and whilst the plot of tampering with human nature and playing God is a well-worn cliche, it'll be interesting to see what he comes up with here, (believe me, you MUST see what he's got in store!! Shocked) It's good that Guillermo Del Toro has decided to support his film, like Natali, Del Toro also has a love for things that are in the realms of sci-fi and fantasy, just look at his films like Cronos (1993), The Devil's Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004) and Pan's Labyrinth (2006) for proof!! Wink Even with a cult director like Del Toro helping out, it looks as if it will be Natali's biggest gamble to date, his 3 previous films have all been made on miniscule budgets, (under $7 million), this one costs at around $30 million. If successful, we could be seeing alot more from Natali in the foreseeable future. It's plot and structure sounds as if it could have come from the early career of David Cronenberg, whose early films Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977) and The Brood (1979) were quite grisly body-horror films.

Cast-wise, Natali has made some very good choices. Adrien Brody is a good choice for the film, and even though he's won an Oscar for The Pianist (2002), he's made some very interesting choices film-wise in recent years, recently he's made films like The Village (2004), King Kong (2005) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007), and this'll continue his streak of good films. Sarah Polley is best known to alot of people for playing Sally in Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), she was only 8 years old back then, but has since matured as an actress, and has since made films such as Doug Liman's Go (1999) and Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999), she also wrote and directed Away From Her (2006), which earned her an Oscar-nomination for Best Screenplay. Natali has also cast one of his best friends, David Hewlett, who has been in nearly everyone of Natali's films, in a small part. But, it'll be the creature of Dren which will get people interested. Be warned, these images could disturb, and it's just a body suit!! Shocked Wink

It's due out next year sometime, it's still in post-production. But, it looks as if it'll be one hell of a good visual feast. It's got a good director who doesn't make enough films as he should do, at the helm. Even though Natali has been quiet for a little while with the odd job here and there, he's got 3 other films in development right now, including an adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise, a horror film called Necropolis, with a script by erm... Paul W.S. Anderson, and an animated film called Uberman. It'll be interesting to see what he tackle's next, and even though he now has 4 films to his name, the best may still be yet to come from Vincenzo Natali... Wink
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