Monday, October 09, 2006


It's been eight years since Terry Gilliam's version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas hit the theaters and I've been waiting for a new film from him ever since (we'll forget for the time being about The Brothers Grimm, a film where Gilliam buckled for the first time under studio pressure...the result was a mediocre and uncharacteristically formulaic mess). No director has the mix of visual grandiosity and dark comedy that Gilliam possesses at his best. His film Brazil is on my top ten movies of all time list, and I saw it in its original theatrical release four times, own the Criterion DVD, had the original movie poster, etc, etc. Hmm, a movie about a secretive government who manipulates the fear of terrorism for its own evil ends, no current relevance there. Gilliam's an oxymoronic category unto himself--a big budget art film auteur. As such he's painfully dependent on the suits who hold the purse strings.

It turns out he hasn't lost his sense of humor though--he was spotted on the streets outside the studios of The Daily Show drumming up support for his new film Tideland while holding the sign above, and made an appearance at a showing of one his own favorite films, Jaco von Dormael's Toto le Heros. Did you know that Gilliam and his girlfriend at the time were part of the chorus on Frank Zappa's Absolutely Free? Well, neither did I. I learned that and about what he's been up to lately at Ghost in the Machine.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Tideland.

(via Return of the Reluctant)