Written by: Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer
OK, OK, OK — I admit it. I never saw Tideland.
Plenty of fans, even Gilliam faithful, might be willing to give me a break for skipping his latest effort, but not me. The man who kept me sane with Time Bandits and Baron Munchausen as a kid deserves a fair shake, even if the opening quarter hour of his movie makes me want to bazooka-barf.
That said, my excitement for all things Gilliam is renewed – albeit slightly – for his latest effort, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Here's a description of the movie, thanks to Gilliam fansite Dreams:
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present day.
It tells the story of Dr Parnassus (Plummer) and his extraordinary "Imaginarium," a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick (Waits), in which he won immortality.
Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina (Cole) is now rapidly approaching this "coming of age" milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls.
Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter's hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all…
That description makes no mention of dead bodies, abused children or extremely intense opening codas ("Thank you, thank you, thank you") from the filmmaker.
Check out the cast at Dreams, a Gilliam fansite!
Author: Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer
Robert J. Peterson is a writer and web developer living in Los Angeles. A Tennessee native, he graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He’s written for newspapers and websites all over the country, including the Marin Independent Journal, the Telluride Daily Planet, CC2KOnline.com, Offscreen, and Geekscape.net. He co-hosts the podcasts Make It So and Hiram’s Lodge. He’s appeared as a pop-culture guru on the web talk shows Comics on Comics, The Fanbase Press Week In Review, Collider Heroes, ScreenJunkies TV Fights, and Fandom Planet. He’s the founder of California Coldblood Books.