Tarsem Singh made the jump from directing music videos to helming feature-length films in 2000 with The Cell, a thriller that (via science-fiction technology) tells a tale set largely inside in the mind of a serial killer, resulting in a movie full of gorgeously surreal (but messed-up) imagery. This year, Singh is returning to the sci-fi genre with Self/less: a project that will be another literal mind-trip from the director.
Self/less, as based on a script by screenwriter brothers Àlex Pastor and David Pastor (The Last Days, Out of the Dark), stars Ben Kingsley as Damian: a very wealthy man who is dying from cancer, when he attempts to prolong his life by undergoing a special medical procedure that involves transferring his consciousness into the body of a healthy, younger man (Ryan Reynolds). Of course there’s a catch, as Damian begins to uncover the seedy truth about where his new body came from – not to mention, “the organization that will kill to protect its cause.”
The “organization” in question is, presumably, Phoenix Biogenic: a research facility that specializes in the cutting-edge science of human consciousness transference – featuring Matthew Goode (Stoker, The Imitation Game) playing one of the company’s representatives, named Albright – as is featured in the viral marketing clip that’s embedded at the top of this article.
Focus Features also sent us a Self/less promo goodie bag that included a LG smart phone (inside a box with the Phoenix Biogenic logo on it) – one that contains the following viral images. The first of these images, labeled “Shedding”, shows Reynolds’ character in what (judging by the picture’s label) is the process of having his original consciousness removed or “shed”, so that Damian’s consciousness can take its place.
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As for the remainder of these pics, they show the austere interiors of Phoenix Biogenic; chances are, though, these sets and the movie’s futuristic tech will primarily serve as the shiny backdrops to the main narrative – something that reads as a fairly standard drama/thriller premise.
Indeed, Singh’s film in general have a tendency to be style-over-substance, be they mythological adventures (Immortals) or fairy tale re-tellings (Mirror Mirror) – though, his movie The Fall combines beautiful scenery and visuals with an interesting, metaphor-heavy, story and subject matter. Self/less could likewise end up having interesting subtext, with its themes about people seeking to become immortal and/ or the idea of a person’s consciousness being removable/replaceable. We’ll see, though.
Self/less opens in U.S. theaters on July 31st, 2015.
Source: Focus Features