Dreams: 2007 News Blog
Edited by Phil Stubbs
A news review of Gilliam's work during 2007... in reverse chronological
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus started shooting on the evening
of December 9. Location shooting in December and January 2008 will be
followed by studio work in Vancouver. After that a model unit will shoot
and CGI work will be performed in London.
reported the start of the Dr Parnassus shoot. In an article
by Adam Dawtrey. Gilliam is quoted as saying:
"It's autobiographical. I'm trying to bring a bit of fantasticality to
London, an antidote to modern lives. I loved this idea of an ancient travelling
show offering the kind of storytelling and wonder that we used to get,
to people who are just into shoot-em-up action films. Parnassus is trying
to bring amazement to people, and not doing a very good job of it, because
they aren't paying attention to him. But if they will enter his mirror,
and allow their imagination to mix with his, they enter these extraordinary
worlds, and they come back transcendent -- or they strangely disappear."
Later in December, two websites had reports from the shooting of the new
Gilliam film, The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus:
SE1 has two pictures of the Imaginarium itself...
Jared has pictures from the night shoot at Blackfriars bridge
on 15 December - but beware there are SPOILERS.
It's been confirmed to Dreams that Terry Gilliam's new project
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus is to start shooting in December.
With Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits, Verne Toyer, Andrew
Garfield and Lily Cole. A special preview has been
added to Dreams, featuring a synopsis and a concept drawing.
This Dreams preview has been featured on dozens of movie websites
around the world, including Aint-it-Cool and Empire Online.
A Belgian website called Digg has
a new interview with Terry Gilliam. Regarding his next project, Dr
Parnassus, the filmmaker says, this week is the critical week.
By the end of the week, I think I'll know whether we have the financing
for the next one.
A fresh interview with Terry Gilliam at The Roundhouse is
now available at YouTube. No new information about projects, but a
few thoughts from the filmmaker about the studies one should do to become
It's been announced that Terry Gilliam will direct an opera at La Scala
in July 2008. He will tackle Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier,
about a poet guillotined during the French revolution, the story which
also provided Charles Dickens with material for A Tale of Two Cities.
Stéphane Lissner, the opera house's superintendent, said, "Even
in this historic venue there is room for innovation and the choice of
interesting directors who can work well with established conductors."
"They want me for my cinematic eye, but the fact remains that I am
a complete amateur when it comes to opera, so we will be leaving out vegetables
and fruit for the audience to throw," Gilliam
told The Grauniad. The director was unimpressed by previous
versions of Andrea Chénier, which debuted at La Scala in
1896, and added, "I saw all the prettily coloured scenery and said,
'This isn't right, what about the Reign of Terror?' Nobody shows the guillotine.
How about a huge sword of Damocles-like guillotine hanging over the stage?"
Out correspondent, not a fan of the opera, said that "Chénier
is a conventional stand-and-bawl 1896 melodrama where lung-power disguises
mediocre music. Italians know what they like in these horsehair-stuffed
antiques: celebs who line up and hit the high notes. Gilliams brilliant
visual sense and designs by Dante Ferretti may be wasted on such tosh."
Over in Spain for Tideland's general release, Gilliam did several
interviews in which he was asked about his latest project. In
El Pais (an interview in Spanish), he revealed that Tom Waits and
Heath Ledger were lined up for roles in The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus.
Further, in a
video interview (in English), Gilliam said that his producers were
in LA looking to raise the money to make Parnassus. The producers
are William Vince (a producer of Capote), and Amy Gilliam, who
has worked on the last three of the director's films.
Awards were held in May. Jodelle Ferland received a nomination for
her performance in Tideland, but did not win an award.
Gilliam was given an award at this year's 23rd Fantastic Film Festival in
of the award presentation is here.
In April, there was rumour that Gilliam and Heath Ledger would team up to
make a video for American indie rock band Modest Mouse. Frontman Isaac Brook
Dose that the selected track is King Rat, and added, "We
kind of befriended Heath Ledger a while back through our tour manager, and
he'd been wanting to do a video. Just recently, a couple of days ago, he
[Ledger] said Terry Gilliam wants to animate it. So, that's really fucking
Also in April, Damon Albarn again talked about the prospect of working with
Gilliam on a forthcoming Gorillaz movie, though at this point nothing
appeared firm about this project going ahead.
On St George's Day, April 23, Gilliam joined fellow Python Terry Jones and
mayor of London Ken Livingstone to conduct an "orchestra" of coconut
bangers. There's more information on this at the BBC
with Terry Jones
Early in March, Gilliam was in Rome to publicise the release of Tideland.
The movie news website Film
Ick managed to get its hands on a script for The Imaginarium
of Dr Parnassus. It's not the latest draft of the script that Film
Ick has obtained, but the
article contains significant details of the setup and plot of the movie...
so read the article if you would like such information at this early stage
of the project.
Terry Gilliam has written an article for Dreams.
Entitled The Joys of Independent Filmmaking, it features the filmmaker's
experiences of indie distribution in the USA.
The release of the DVD of Tideland in America and Canada has brought
complaints from fans of the film. The US release was cropped left and right,
and the frame was opened up at the top to reveal more information, which
was not intended to be shown by Gilliam. For the full story, read the
Dreams article, featuring the views of director.
Terry Gilliam was given a special award at the Art Directors' Guild bash
in February. Gilliam told Dreams, "The Art Directors' Guild
gave me an award for something... probably for hiring art directors. They
called it Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery. So it was a not-too-heavy
award, before the Oscar chaos."
In an interview with UK-based magazine SFX, Gilliam spoke about his
Heroes and Inspirations. Click on SFX
PART ONE and SFX PART TWO
to read about the director's interest in Philip K. Dick, the Bible and cardboard
At the end of February, Gilliam revealed to Dreams the title of his
new project, written with Charles McKeown: The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus.
In February, the
Canadian Genie awards were held. There were six nominations for Gilliam's
Tideland, including Best Actress for Jodelle Ferland. No awards were
given to the picture.
A still from
The Miracle of Flight
At a screening of Tideland in Hatfield, UK, on January 23, Terry
Gilliam revealed that he and writing partner Charles McKeown had just finished
a new original script. McKeown has collaborated on several projects with
Gilliam before, most notably on the 1989 fantasy The Adventures of Baron
Munchasen. McKeown also worked on Brazil's shooting script and
also the Watchmen script when Gilliam and Joel Silver were attempting
to get it to screen.
This is likely to be the script Gilliam has been talking about for a while,
about "a person with eternal life who's basically a storyteller, but
the world has moved on and his brand of storytelling is of no interest."
An early animation by Gilliam, called The Miracle of Flight, has
been uploaded to YouTube. Click
here to watch the short film, first featured in Marty Feldman's Comedy
Machine, a television programme from the early 1970s.
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