Author Topic: Parnassus  (Read 7168 times)

Offline Mandy21

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Parnassus
« on: February 24, 2009, 12:43:16 pm »
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090224/film_nm/us_ledger_1


Ledger's last film awaits deal for U.S. release
By Steven Zeitchik – Tue Feb 24, 1:17 am ET AP –  8 San Diego LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Backstage at the Oscars on Sunday night, where her brother was awarded a posthumous supporting actor's award, Kate Ledger told reporters that her family is very much in the loop on his final movie.

"We've seen a little bit of the footage," she said of Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," Heath Ledger's last film. "I think it's going to be amazing."

But the comments only highlighted a larger question: When will U.S. audiences get to see it?

The head-trippy "Parnassus," about a traveling magician who gives customers more than they bargained for, is a joint production of financial entity Grosvenor Park and sales mogul Samuel Hadida of Davis Films. It was gliding along as just another independently financed production -- and product of Gilliam's funhouse imagination -- when Ledger died early last year, in the middle of production.

The project's fate was thrown into question until Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp stepped in, with all three part of an elaborate work-around that has the actors playing different parts of Ledger's role.

That saved the production. But the sales process since then has been nearly as complicated.

A number of U.S. buyers during the summer and early fall were said to be interested in acquiring stateside rights -- Lionsgate and Overture reportedly were among the potential suitors -- but word of a potential deal quickly quieted down.

That has fueled speculation concerning such matters as dissent among producers over finances. Rumors aside, the film, whose budget is thought to be upward of $20 million, does present challenges.

Even with the Ledger hook, a distributor would face marketing difficulties. Gilliam has grown more experimental in recent years, with such fare as "Tideland" and "The Brothers Grimm," and marketing experts say that retailing "Parnassus" as a Ledger film risks a backlash among general audiences unaccustomed to artier material.

A U.S. deal is expected shortly, with a mini-major or larger indie expected to make the play. (The movie already has a deal for Mandate International to release it in the United Kingdom, where former Monty Python member Gilliam tends to fare better. It is expected to open there in the summer.)

Still, the absence of a U.S. distribution deal nearly six months after talks began speaks to the difficulty of selling art-house films to the domestic market.

"This movie stars Heath Ledger in his final performance -- it will get a deal and come out in the U.S.," said one indie film veteran. "But it's no accident that it's taking this long."

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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Offline optom3

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 08:44:52 pm »
"This movie stars Heath in his final performance" Simply typing those words is hard. I hate the word final, it is unequivocably and irrevocably a very large full stop.

Offline Mandy21

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 09:42:05 pm »
Well, I, for one, will see it on the first day that it is released, regardless of my dislike for Terry Gilliam's films.  I will report in to you, Fi, and tell you if it is safe for you to see, without having a breakdown, or not.
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Offline optom3

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 10:11:03 pm »
I keep thinking, if I never see it, then there wil still be one little bit of "new" Heath out there for me.

Offline tampatalon

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2009, 12:39:50 am »
I want to see it fer sure.

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Offline Mandy21

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2009, 12:43:50 am »
All right, my friend Steve, you and I will have to see it in our respective venues, and report back to Fi-Fi to let her know if it's safe or not.  Deal?
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Offline Mandy21

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2009, 09:04:24 am »
From the Belfast Telegraph this morning:

From tragedy to farce: Heath Ledger's final act

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

 

Heath Ledger's final film has yet to secure a distribution deal in the US


Terry Gilliam managed to complete his latest film, 'The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus', despite the death of its star midway through production. But we may never get to see it. Guy Adams reports


When Heath Ledger's family stepped onstage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood to accept his posthumous Oscar, it was billed as both a moving and triumphant end to the late actor's tragically short-lived career.


There is, however, a final chapter still to be written in the Heath Ledger story. For at the time of his death, the tortured genius whose Joker lifted The Dark Knight into the premier league of modern blockbusters was working on another eerily complex film role.


That movie, which will represent Ledger's true swansong, is called The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus. It was directed by the British former Monty Python star Terry Gilliam, and has been billed as a "fantastic" tale about a travelling circus magician who makes a series of Faustian pacts with the devil.

Gilliam was a third of the way through the production process when Ledger was killed by an overdose of prescription painkillers. He decided to dramatically rejig his script – and invited a selection of prominent actors to perform what remained of his role.


The resulting Dr Parnassus stars Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law in Ledger's place. It was independently financed, cost $20m (£14m) to make, and was finished in August last year.


Yet there remains a pressing problem. Despite its stellar cast and alluring back-story, not to mention Ledger's enduring box office appeal (The Dark Knight last week surpassed $1bn in ticket sales), America at present has no prospect of seeing Dr Parnassus in cinemas.


For reasons which are not fully clear, Gilliam's film has so far failed to secure a US distribution deal. Though negotiations with several prospective commercial partners are ongoing, it has yet to be awarded a release date.


Unless it finds a theatrical distributor willing to pay the going rate for rights to screen it in cinemas, Dr Parnassus will face the fate of the hundreds of other independent films which fail to secure a deal: it will go straight to DVD.


That would be an extraordinary fate for a movie that is already the subject of a strong buzz, and which received a glowing reference by Ledger's sister, Kate, at the Oscars.


"We've seen a little bit of footage, and I think it's going to be amazing," she insisted to a backstage press conference. "Terry Gilliam is amazing and Heath always had such enthusiasm and interest in whatever Terry was doing."


The Hollywood Reporter last week published an investigation which concluded that negotiations between the movie's production company, Davis Films, and major US buyers Lionsgate and Overture during the summer had proved fruitless.


"That has fuelled all sorts of rumours in indie circles, ranging from dissent over finances on the producers' side to outsized expectations on the part of filmmakers," the Reporter noted.


At present, Dr Parnassus has effectively been "on sale" for six months. Potential buyers may be wary of its eccentric subject matter and fantasy-driven plot, which traditionally prevent a film securing mass-market approval.


Publicity photos show a white-faced Ledger in a clown's outfit. The movie's synopsis meanwhile requires a significant suspension of disbelief: it involves a surreal contest between the 1,000-year-old Dr Parnassus (played by Christopher Plummer) and the devil (known as Mr Nick, and played by Tom Waits).


Ledger's character, Tony, is a mysterious outsider who apparently travels through a dream world. In what could be either a stroke of genius on Gilliam's part or an elaborate folly, Farrell, Law and Depp play different "transformations" of Tony's personality.


"Even with the Ledger hook, a distributor would have a hard time with marketing," mooted The Hollywood Reporter. "Gilliam has grown more experimental in recent years with such fare as Tideland and The Brothers Grimm ... [and] retailing Dr Parnassus as a Ledger film risks running a word-of-mouth problem with general audiences who are not accustomed to that kind of material."


In the UK, where Gilliam has a strong following, Mandate International was able to justify splashing out for distribution rights, and is scheduled to release the film in June. Its relatively large budget means Dr Parnassus would have to reach a wide audience in order to turn a profit.


Most experts still expect the film to get a release – and rumours suggest a deal, of sorts, may be announced imminently. But unless a major buyer makes an offer, the film could be limited to a relatively small number of screens in major US cities.


Ledger's former agent, Steve Alexander, didn't respond to requests for a comment about the film's future yesterday. The British screenwriter and film producer Allan Schiach, a former friend of the late actor who was due to work with him on an adaptation of the novel The Queen's Gambit, said he thought it "inconceivable" that Ledger's swansong would never see the light of day.


"You just don't know what's going on. The producers could be asking for too much money; the distributors could want to market the film, or structure a deal in a particular way. There's all sorts of reasons a sale could take so long.


"Terry Gilliam has done this brilliant job of replacing him with these amazing stars. Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp are an incredible line-up, and I simply do not believe the film is unreleasable."

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Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 03:01:25 pm »


       Oh dear god, I hope that this movie does not get bogged down in silly infighting by the producers, and the
distribution people.  It would be so unfair to him, and to all of us who loved his work, to be unable to see it
because of the petty greed they all seem to display at times like this.

       I for one cannot wait to see it.  Even if it is the terrible final product that Gilliam made of the last film they
made together.  That movie had such brilliant possibilities, and it sadly came out rather badly.  It just was never
really finished, like a good product should be.  Too bad, that Gilliam cant seem to finish his movies, as well as he
starts them.



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Offline optom3

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 07:01:28 pm »
Why is it you always want, what sometimes you can't have ? 

I was not going to see The Imaginarium as I could not bear it being the last ever bit of Heath. Now there is a possibility I will not see it, I am of course desperate !!

Perhaps it is all a clever marketing ploy, after all it has got me hooked.

Offline opinionista

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 02:32:57 pm »
I really wonder if Terry Gilliam based The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus on Miguel de Cervantes' poem Viaje del Parnaso, who in turn was inspired by Cesare Carporali's poem of the same name, Viaggio in Parnaso (Although both poems have the same name, they're completely different and Cervantes gives credit to Carporali). I read Gilliam's film deals with an imaginary travel, and so do both Cervantes and Carporali's poems. But the poems are also about poetry, about what is good poetry and what isn't. So, I really wonder what Gilliam did to turn it into a movie. That'll be interesting to see.
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Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 03:51:05 pm »
Fiona

Whether or not the movie is released in the theatres, it WILL come out on DVD. So there is no question as to whether or not you will be able to see it.

I for one really liked Brothers Grimm. I love how so dif'rent Heath's performance was in the three films I've seen.
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Offline optom3

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2009, 09:35:14 pm »
Fiona

Whether or not the movie is released in the theatres, it WILL come out on DVD. So there is no question as to whether or not you will be able to see it.

I for one really liked Brothers Grimm. I love how so dif'rent Heath's performance was in the three films I've seen.

I have just realised, well duh !!!  of course I can always catch it on DVD. Note to self, engage brain prior to posting !

Now my dilemma is, it would be too terrible if Heath's last performance went straight to DVD.

 I want his swan song to be amazing, incredible and every other superlative, people considerably more eloquent than I, can proclaim.

 I don't want the last thing he ever filmed to be anything other than brilliant. I also want his part to be be massively better than the substitutes, Law, Farrell and Depp. ( no disrespect to any of the afore mentioned, fine body of thespians)

I know I am being unreasonable, it's simply the Heathen in me.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Parnassus
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 11:29:44 am »
I really wonder if Terry Gilliam based The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus on Miguel de Cervantes' poem Viaje del Parnaso, who in turn was inspired by Cesare Carporali's poem of the same name, Viaggio in Parnaso (Although both poems have the same name, they're completely different and Cervantes gives credit to Carporali). I read Gilliam's film deals with an imaginary travel, and so do both Cervantes and Carporali's poems. But the poems are also about poetry, about what is good poetry and what isn't. So, I really wonder what Gilliam did to turn it into a movie. That'll be interesting to see.

Quite possibly, since Gilliam was so familiar with Cervantes from his attempts to make a film (never finished) on Don Quixote. I was very happy with Imaginarium, and pleased with the way the substitute actors were cleverly worked into the plot. Heath always seemed to act as if his performance was the final one of his career, and the movie resonated even more poignantly for me because of that.
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