My fellow movie critic Jason Blair, who doesn’t have a blog of his own yet, sent this over this morning and it just cried out, “Blog fodder! I am blog fodder!” So here you go:
I was looking up Terry Gilliam recently, who used to be one of my favorite directors, before his bad lack turned truly awful. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which starred (momentarily) Johnny Depp, was never released for a myriad of reasons, although Lost in La Mancha, a fine documentary, did result. Then, still not recovered from Quixote, Gilliam tried to make the dark fantasy The Brothers Grimm, which was plenty dark but far from fantastic. He somehow convinced Jeff Bridges to star in Tideland in 2005, which made so little money domestically ($66,000) that Rotten Tomatoes lists its total box office as $0.
His latest picture, meant to be a return to form, is/was called The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. Early word said it was a return to the wildly anarchic form of his earlier works. Heath Ledger was part of the reason for hope. But although Ledger wasn’t playing a primary, role, his passing leaves Gilliam in place with which he’s familiar: a promising but half-finished project which, if it sees the light of day, will be vastly different than what he intended. “Gilliam’s luck” should be an idiom at this point. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s blog offers a short chronology.