Sarah Polley's memoir
A pair of articles with Sarah Polley have appeared on The Guardian. One is an interview and the other is an excerpt from her memoir.

Interview - Sarah Polley on her unflinching memoir: ‘Can you forgive – and should you forgive?’

Sarah Polley: ‘It took me years to see how responsible Terry Gilliam was for my terror’
The quote chosen as a title for the excerpt is a bit more clickbait than the more nuanced excerpt itself to be honest. Now Gilliam is held as the prime example of the male tyrant on twitter.
Funny that the interview (posted 2 weeks earlier and not clickbaity enough I guess) had this part which complexified the whole point of view :
Quote:Yet, in an extraordinary example of the “reciprocal dance” between past and present, when we discuss her children being on set for Women Talking, she recalls a moment when she herself almost lost it as a director, slipping into a vivid present tense as she speaks. “The light was fading. There’s this crane shot. My kids are supposed to be sitting on a hay bale with a bunch of other kids playing. It’s the biggest shot I’ve ever done in my life, and we have five minutes to get it, and every time we bring the crane in, my middle kid pulls all these faces right into the camera,” she says. “And there’s this moment where I thought if I hadn’t had the benefit of a childhood trauma, there’s no chance I wouldn’t be losing my mind with my kid right now. I had a moment of extreme empathy for film-makers being horrible to everyone, including children. It doesn’t make it OK or right, but it’s really complex when you have 100 people standing around and millions of dollars being spent.” A day after the interview, she emails to say it hadn’t occurred to her until now that Gilliam never lost his patience with her on set. “I think I should acknowledge that about him.”
Also worth noting is that I can't think of a single post Munchausen film that had as big action set pieces as that film. Even the WWI scene in 12 Monkeys was pretty tightly shot with the war as a backdrop to what was going on with Bruce Willis' character in the moment.
I feel sorry for what Sarah Polley went through, however Terry Gilliam was the director of Munchausen, not the stunt co-ordinator, pyrotechnics specialist or health and safety officer. How is it all his fault? Is a director entirely responsible for every single thing that goes on during a film shoot? As Gilliam later asked "Is the auteur theory correct?" Munchausen was a traumatic shoot for numerous reasons, the biggest culprit for most of the faults that went on during the film shoot was the producer Thomas Schühly, who lied to Gilliam about how much the film would cost, Schühly and his accountants told Gilliam it would cost $23.5 million to make and it ended up costing nearer to $45 million. If anyone needs to be truly blamed here, it's Schühly not Gilliam, but no actor, young or old should be put in danger.
Last time I want to post about this, but Sarah Polley had some more nuanced things to say about the ordeal in a recent interview with IndieWire:

Quote:In “Run Towards the Danger,” you write about how Terry Gilliam created an unsafe environment on the set of “The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen.” How do you feel about the movie itself?

I’ve seen so many responses to that essay with people saying, “I don’t think I can enjoy this movie anymore, knowing what happened.” Really? Because that’s the only good thing that came out of that experience for me — a really great movie. So please, don’t throw away the movie.

What about the way people see Gilliam as a result of this? 

I love Terry Gilliam movies. I refuse to think of him as a monster. I don’t think he is. I think he screwed up a lot of stuff, and he hasn’t taken responsibility for it, and that sucks. But he also had great qualities and made beautiful work. I just feel like I’m interested in having a conversation with him and hearing his perspective on what he saw. I would hope that he’d listen to mine.
At least Polley is striking a more conciliatory tone, not wanting people to demonise Gilliam for what Polley went through on that film. Like I've said elsewhere, it WASN'T ENTIRELY Gilliam's fault, most of blame lies at the door of Thomas Schühly, who lied about the budget and didn't keep control of the money going out of the door. Arnon Milchan was originally producer early on, but he left when Schühly seized greater control over the production, it could have done with Milchan's tight control, because Schühly didn't have the discipline or clout Milchan had.
Latest from Polley on twitter :
Quote:I have seen some discussion about whether or not people can still like this movie after hearing about my horrible experiences working on it as a child. You may not be asking for it or care - but you have my unconditional permission to still love this movie. Yes, it was traumatic for me. Yes, it should have been handled very differently. Yes, it is still a great movie. The joy that comes from it is the joy I am able to carry with me as well as the terrible memories. So go nuts. Enjoy it. You have my blessing.

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