Much smaller in scale -but not in ambition-, "Fatale" (working title) is similar to their 2008 piece The Graveyard: an explorable painting or an interactive vignette more than a goal-oriented quest.
"Fatale" is based on the legend of Salomé, who, 2000 years ago, demanded the head of John the Baptist as a reward for dancing for her stepfather, King Herod. Oscar Wilde's 1891 interpretation of Salomé as a young woman in love with the prophet is the main inspiration for the project. In "Fatale" you will be able to explore the scene of this momentous historical event, experiencing the story through the emotions and thoughts of the characters involved.
"We've always admired Mr Sato's work," admit "Fatale" designers Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn. "In fact, if it wasn't for his masterful work in Silent Hill 1 and 2, we would probably never have started making videogames. Takayoshi Sato designs characters the way a novelist describes them or a sculptor carves them: their personality is expressed in their appearance and they are covered with very recognizable details. He does not design superheroes or puppets, but real people, people you want to know, people you want to be close to. The style we are aiming for with "Fatale" is more naturalistic than anything we have made so far. But we want to retain the magical quality and openness to interpretation that is characteristic of our work. Takayoshi is one of the few designers in the world capable of pulling this off. We asked him. And he said yes. We couldn't be happier!"
The character of Salome is complex because "Fatale" is designed to evoke all possible interpretations of her legend simultaneously. Salome is at once the mighty princess who mercilessly seduces men to their downfall and an innocent child on the brink of womanhood who is manipulated by the grown-ups that surround her. But she is also just a girl, a teenager who falls in love with the wrong man at the wrong time. She gets a first taste of the sweetness and the bitterness that we all know so well. And then there's the Salome created by Oscar Wilde: a mad woman, lurking in the shadows of our souls, a selfish, passionate, wilful creature who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Sato's Salome is all of these women. She's not a classic beauty. But very pretty nonetheless. She doesn't wear lot of clothing after having danced away her veils. But her nakedness feels natural in the cool night breeze. The abundance of jewellery on her body is at once arrogant and innocent. She's attractive but there is nothing obscene about her. Her sensuality is that of a virgin. Her skin is telling us that our touch will corrupt her. She challenges us. She confuses us.
Fatale is scheduled to be released on October 5th 2009, the 78th anniversary of the first public performance of Salomé in English. The play had been banned from the British stage for almost 50 years because of its depiction of biblical figures.
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