Beyond the Pale

Terry Gilliam’s new film: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
September 21, 2009, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Costume Dramas, Creepy, Etsy, Fairytales, Fashion, Films, Fripperies, Trinkets

I am really very excited by the prospect of Terry Gilliam‘s latest fantastical film offering: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Starring such diverse luminaries as Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger (in his last film), Chrisopher Plummer, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Dr ParnassusTom Waits, Lily Cole, and Paloma Faith; it certainly looks to be a feast for the eyes as well as the imagination.

On her blog, Paloma Faith waxes lyrical about Gilliam and Ledger’s untimely death (which one hopes wont overshadow the film): “Terry Gilliam is such a genius. I must admit it was very moving to see Heath Ledger deliver yet another wonderful performance and the moment he morphs into the other (replacement) actors, it hits home how undeniably sad it is that he passed away so young in his life. There are references to some of these things in the film. How those icons who die young will be eternally young and forever in our hearts, remaining as they were when they left us. I was very moved. The film also discusses subjects close to my heart such as the tragedy that the art of storytelling is dying in contemporary culture. People are too cynical to take notice of the subtleties…You must go and see it, it’s so beautiful. And when I wasn’t in tears, I was laughing my head off.”

Dr Parnassus1

Now then, I love Terry Gilliam’s films, but we all know he can often take an idea and scatter it hither & thither.  Always visually stunning affairs, the films can be left nigh on naked once the petals of the plot have been ruthlessly shaken from the stem. [I’ll end that metaphor there – fear not, Gentle Reader!] Ironically, that’s often why I love his films anyway. He has mad ideas and he runs with them, and the cast always look like they’re more than happy to be along for the ride. It can be a little unsatisfying, though, and I often leave with a sense of longing for a brave editor to stand up and scream: “ENOUGH! No, Terry, you can’t have twenty minutes of footage showing a rabbit dancing with an umbrella as tiny ballerinas chase him with axes made of wasps, we should GET ON WITH THE STORY. Now go and have a cup of tea and calm down.”

I have to admit that the prospect of Jude Law being in it almost put me off the idea of seeing the film altogether. It’s safe to say I’m not a huge fan. You may expect me to love him – all the ingredients are there: He’s posh, he has floppy hair, he… Well. That’s sort of it, really, on the Reasons Miss Nightingale Should Like Jude Law list. Oh yes, he’s arrogant, and I am sort of attracted to arrogance in some ways – but not his.

Jude Law may well be a lovely chap: a champion of poorly kittens and a finder of lost thimbles, for all I know. He just comes across as sneeringly vulgar, to me. He exudes a sort of smarmy oiliness that seeps from the screen and, what’s more, I don’t think he’s a very good actor. He’s sort of a much thinner, much posher Jamie Oliver but with none of the apparent affability and no discernible talent. However, I’m sure the Law household (whoever that consists of this week) is losing no sleep over my lack of respect for J boy, so we’ll let the subject drop for the time being. I’m sure I’ll have cause to revisit such a vast topic in the future.

Dr Parnassus2

So yes, we have Jude Law repelling the senses, but so much else to attract. Namely: Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell. Oh and the costumes look amazing, and I am ever a sucker for fabulous costumes, as you should know by now. I should also mention that the casting of Tom Waits as the devil is utter GENIUS, by the way. I shall be interested to see if Lily Cole outshines the reviews of her work which appear to be amazed that she’s not only a model but can act (in fact started acting before modeling) and – GET THIS – is at Cambridge University, too! Yes, very nice and everything, but should we really be treated to such jaw-drops in the press whenever a model does anything more mentally taxing than buttoning her own shirt?

The film is released in the UK on the 16th October 2009. Meanwhile, have a sneak preview of the official trailer below, followed by some behind-the-scenes footage with Terry Gilliam in the second clip…

And what are you expecting now, my darlings? My regular readers will know for sure… Such topics always inspire me to create a selection of themed treasures I have discovered on Etsy which I hope you will agree are suitably Gilliam-esque. Happy browsing!

Imaginarium 1

Direct links to items shown:

Craftie Robot

Steam Society

The Black Apple

Stories Divinations

Le Petit Cadeau

Lady Fran’s Library

Imaginarium 2

Further links:

Pye Wacketts

Tilly Bloom



Leather Artworks

Untamed Menagerie


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thank you for The heads up on this wonderful film, full of sterling actors, with your much appreciated mention and link.
It certainly wetted my appetite, I can’t wait. :)Linda x

Comment by Linda

Hi Suzy –
Thank you so much for featuring my little pin in your blog post – I’m flattered to be included in such good company. Love your blog (have bookmarked it) – can’t wait for your perfumes…. Good Luck! – Lisa

Comment by Lisa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: