The American Cinematheque presents "Terry Gilliam's Imagnariums," a tribute to the visionary director of BRASIL, TIME BANDITS, THE FISHER KING, and THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. Spread over two weekends, the fest launches with a sneak preview of Gilliam's latest film THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS, starring Christopher Plummer and the late Heath Ledger (whose role was completed by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell).
Sunday, December 6 - 7:30 PM - Sneak Preview
THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, 2009, Sony Pictures Classics, 122 min. Terry Gilliam reteams with his BROTHERS GRIMM star Heath Ledger for this, the actor’s final film. Christopher Plummer plays the film's title character, the impresario behind a traveling theatrical company that offers its customers the chance to use a magical mirror to go beyond reality. When the devil, with whom Parnassus once struck a deal, comes around to collect, the company and an enigmatic outsider (played at alternate points by Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell) join forces to save Parnassus' daughter (Lily Cole).
Saturday, December 12 - 7:30 PM - Double Feature
BRAZIL, 1985, Universal, 142 min. Director Terry Gilliam’s groundbreaking science fiction satire is an anachronistic masterpiece. Winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (Gilliam, Charles McKeown and theatre legend Tom Stoppard). Inspired by George Orwell’s 1984 and Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS, this darkest of comedies pits everyman Jonathan Pryce against a world of crushing conformity, pursuing elusive love, Kim Greist. Featuring fellow-Python Michael Palin as upwardly mobile Jack Lint and Robert De Niro as an outlaw heating engineer. Its jaw dropping retro-futuristic design helped give birth to the steam punk genre.
THE FISHER KING, 1991, Sony Repertory, 137 min. Jeff Bridges pulls out all the stops as a shattered shock jock trying to escape self-pity and remorse, and Robin Williams is the sanity-challenged homeless vagabond who helps him in director Terry Gilliam’s modern fable of love and redemption. Co-starring Mercedes Ruehl (who won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress), Amanda Plummer, and Harry Shearer.
Sunday, December 13 - 7:30 PM Double Feature
TIME BANDITS, 1981, HandMade, 110 min. Dir. Terry Gilliam. When eleven-year old history buff Kevin discovers a time-and-space portal in his bedroom wall, a band of dwarves takes him on a series of rousing, funny, and scary quests, where they meet Robin Hood, Napoleon, and Agamemnon and search for "The Most Fabulous Object in the World." As the Chicago Reader's Dave Kehr pointed out at the time of its release, "All the hidden themes of the Disney films…are made brutally, and often hilariously, explicit. The film is resolutely, passionately antiadult, yet much of the humor has an adult sophistication and edge to it; this is one kids' movie that doesn't condescend." [BR/DMX Digital Cinema Presentation]
THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN, 1988, Sony Repertory, 126 min. Dir. Terry Gilliam. Terry Gilliam's third fantasy film (following TIME BANDITS and BRAZIL) is yet another terrific children's film that's just as entertaining (if not more so) for adults. The title character (John Neville) sets off with a little girl (Sarah Polley) to save a city in trouble, stopping off along the way for encounters with Oliver Reed, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce and Robin Williams as the Moon King. "The worlds Gilliam has created here are like the ones he created in his animations for Monty Python -- they have a majestic peculiarity. And you're constantly amazed by the freshness and eccentricity of what is pushed in front of your eyes." —Hal Hinson, Washington Post.