Thursday, January 24, 2008

Imaginarium To Be Re-imagined?

Poor Terry Gilliam. You have to feel for the guy.

This week's shocker, the death of Heath Ledger, has dealt a big blow to Gilliam's independent project, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. The trade mags have all reported that the film's fate now hangs in the balance, just as shooting's wrapped in London and was to have moved on to Vancouver.

This must bring back extremely dark memories for Gilliam. I saw Lost In La Mancha some time back, and, well, it was a harrowing experience, that documentary. Almost as harrowing as what Gilliam and crew had to endure. It was heart-breaking just seeing how the hardwork of everyone inevitably fell apart due to unforeseen weather conditions and the unexpected ill health of star Jean Rochefort who had just shot his first scene as Don Quixote.

And now this. I sincerely hope they find some solution to the problem. I thoroughly enjoyed The Brothers Grimm and find it largely unfairly criticised. I never got to see Tideland though (whatever happened to it?). And I regard 12 Monkeys as one of the very, very rare remakes that are actually very good and have their own things to say. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas was a great film adaptation of an unfilmable book. And of course, there's Gilliam's dreamy ode to Orwell, the feverish Brazil.

And even then, Gilliam didn't have an easy time with that film either. Who can forget the ad he placed to implore the studios not to release the happy-ending version of Brazil that was edited without his supervision?

Let's just hope there's a happy ending for the predicament faced by Imaginarium, both for Gilliam's sake and for the memory of Heath Ledger.

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