Monday, January 11, 2010
( 8:18 PM ) posted by Setsuled
Twitter Sonnet #100
Televisions can't really be turned off.
Ronald McDonald's passed out at Wal-Mart.
Pale pervasive light tasers the new croft.
A cell phone clock keeps ticking by your heart.
Fighting after death prolongs jukebox songs.
Think how a dead chairman administrates.
Dancing supermen right musical wrongs.
Rare men survive without carbohydrates.
Colin Farrell can never be wholesome.
I wish Aphrodite had more to say.
Left behind part of a Tom Waits album.
But Brawlers beat the Bawlers anyway.
Common love letters charge for healthcare.
Next time, Ray Stantz, just think of angry air.
Guess who just got another hospital bill? It's only 22 dollars this time, but damn. This seems to be a monthly thing. It's like alimony.
Didn't get much sleep so I don't know how articulate I can be about The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which I saw last night. But it's a very good movie.
It's probably Gilliam's most Pythonesque post-Python film, much of the Imaginarium cgi sequences coming off as modern versions of his Monty Python animations. The substitution of Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell for Heath Ledger's character, Tony, in the Imaginarium worked surprisingly well, as Ledger, with his deeper voice, smaller eyes, and lined face seems earthlier than the looks of the other three actors. Gilliam mentioned at his Comic-Con appearance (my videos of which you can see here) that Tony was a character Ledger specifically requested to play, and placed next to his Joker performance, we can see Ledger was interested in playing morally corrupt yet not simplistically evil characters. Themes of imminent death and mortality pervade Imaginarium, and Ledger's first appearance in the film is hanging unconscious from a noose under a bridge, so I think one might feel a little bit more sympathy for Tony than one might otherwise, had Ledger not died during filming, but he's definitely the most intriguing character in the film, along with Tom Waits' Devil.
I loved that the conflict between Parnassus and the Devil wasn't exactly a battle of Good versus Evil but apparently a battle between imagination and stagnation. The Devil himself doesn't seem particularly interested in winning, and it's evident he and Parnassus enjoy playing off each other. I think one of the reasons some critics and audiences find the movie confusing is that it fundamentally rejects a conventional moral dichotomy. Imaginarium's morals shouldn't be strange to anyone familiar with Gilliam's work, though, as once again he's promoting imagination as humanity's best quality. There's a melancholy about modern society's increasing rejection of imagination, partly inspired, as Gilliam said at Comic-Con, by audience rejection of Tideland.
If I have any complaint about The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus it's that I wish it'd had more Lily Cole. I think her character could've used a little more development, but I'd be surprised if she didn't get a lot more work after this. Gilliam films her brilliantly, and I found myself marvelling that such a beautiful and strange face exists on a real human being.