Immortal (2004 film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Immortal (French: Immortel (Ad Vitam)) is a 2004 English language, but French-produced science fiction film, directed by artist Enki Bilal and based upon his graphic novel La Foire aux immortels (The Carnival of Immortals). The film combines live action footage with computer animation, and received mixed reviews. It is notable as being one of the first major films along with and Sin City) to be shot entirely on a "digital backlot", blending live actors with computer generated surroundings. Immortel goes one step further than those films, however, in also having live actors interacting with semi photo-realistic CGI "humans".

Plot outline

The film takes place in New York City in the year 2095 where genetically altered humans live side-by-side with unaltered men and women, and where Central Park has been mysteriously encased in an "intrusion zone" where people who attempt to enter are instantly killed. A strange pyramid has appeared over the city; inside, the immortal gods of ancient Egypt are judging Horus, one of their fellow gods, who has a man's body but the head of a falcon. In the city below, Jill, a young woman with blue hair is arrested. Not completely human, she appears to be no more than a few months old, and possesses a number of secret powers, including one that enables her to procreate with gods, though she knows nothing of this. Horus is given a limited time to interact with the humans of New York and procreate. During his search for a host body, Horus encounters Nikopol, a rebel condemned to 30 years of hibernation who has escaped his prison a year early. Horus has been unsuccessful in attempting to take over the bodies of other humans; due to an incompatibility with the genetic alterations humans have undergone, the host bodies self-destruct while attempting to accommodate a "god". Nikopol's body is acceptable as it has been frozen in prison/storage and not undergone the genetic changes causing the rejections. Horus takes partial control of Nikopol's body and starts looking for a woman he can rape to provide him a son, before his death sentence is carried out. When Horus/Nikopol discover Jill, they become entangled in a web of murder and intrigue.

The film, although produced in France, uses English-speaking actors, and all dialogue is in English except for several scenes in (a modern approximation of) Ancient Egyptian, and one scene performed in French. (The Region 1 DVD release translates the Egyptian scenes, but not the French dialogue.) Except for British actress Charlotte Rampling, however, most of the actors including star Linda Hardy had their original performances overdubbed by others.


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