Admittedly, I’ve been late to the Terry Gilliam train, as far as his work as a director. Growing up, my pops drilled the best of Monty Python into my head on a daily basis, though it didn’t take long for a pre-teenage me to appreciate the British comedy troop’s brilliance. And now that I’m older and smarter,more able to grasp their irreverence, Monty Python’s Flying Circus is even funnier. All I knew for years, though, was that Gilliam was part of the never-expected Spanish Inquisition, and that he was responsible for the show’s great animated title card. That he’s been directing bizarre and magical films for decades didn’t register until a couple years back, when I happened across 12 Monkeys on cable, and was left dizzied. Since then, I’ve caught up with Brazil (amazing) and Baron Manchausen (pretty good, but didn’t click totally with me), with certain plans to run through his entire repertoire by the time Christmas rolls around.
Why Christmas? That’s when Gilliam’s latest, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, opens. Which you’ve no doubt heard of simply because it’s the storied final film starring Heath Ledger, the one he was in the midst of at the time of his death last January. And that—-since his character travels through alternate realities—-Gilliam was able to incorporate Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law into his role to complete the picture; all three of whom signed on out of the simple respect for Ledger (though their affection for Gilliam is no doubt strong, as well).
There’s been a couple unofficial trailers floating around, and tons of stills and festival reviews (largely positive, but not overwhelmingly so), but now we have the legit trailer, and it looks equal parts gorgeous and batshit. Not exactly sure what to make of Doctor Parnassus just yet, but that’s not to say that I’m unexcited. The exact opposite. I’m highly intrigued, more so than before. Trailer after the jump:
Bonus Terry Gilliam greatness from his Monty Python days.....