Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Opening: Friday, January 8th
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present-day. It tells the story of Dr. Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Doctor Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. An inveterate gambler, thousands of years ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr. Nick, in which he won immortality.

Centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr. Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his daughter reached her 16th birthday, she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr. Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr. Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls.

Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr. Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr. Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all!

A Peek at Distribution for this Film
Since so many of you are always curious about what happens before a film hits the screens, here's a blurb from Variety...

Heath Ledger’s final film has finally found a Stateside buyer. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group is in advanced talks to pick up "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," with plans for it to go out theatrically via Sony Pictures Classics.

Terry Gilliam’s adventure also features Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, who replaced Ledger in various fantasy scenes after the Ledger died during the film’s production in January 2008.

"Parnassus" was officially unveiled at Cannes this year in an out-of-competition slot toward the end of the festival. Several buyers screened the film just before Cannes, but a deal didn’t immediately emerge.

What the Blogosphere Is Saying About the Film
"Where have you taken us this time Mr. Gilliam? In the latest film from one of the wackiest and most beloved filmmakers, we’re given a somewhat psychedelic glimpse into his truly wonderful imagination. It’s his best film in a decade, the very last film starring Heath Ledger, and the first starring role for model Lily Cole." Full review here (scroll down for it).

"Short version: Despite its flaws, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus still offers some jaw-dropping visuals, fine performances and showcases a fantastically creative imagination that make it worth seeing."--ScreenRant Full review here.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Arthouse Theatre Map from PBS

As you travel, this interactive map highlights other arthouse theaters and visitor comments. Use it to find other places like The Little to add to your itinerary! Also, here's a blurb from PBS' Independent Lens, talking about arthouse theaters. To read the whole article, click on the link that follows.
From In Focus

Across the U.S., community-based art house theaters screen independent films for appreciative audiences—even at a time when home entertainment centers and video downloads have become the norm.

From glamorous historic movie palaces to down-home beer and pizza pubs, art house theaters are anything but cookie cutter, and the people that run and support them are anything but blasé about film.

Inside Indies contributor Elizabeth Meyer spoke with folks around the country who are working to keep these theaters alive.

Art House Theaters: Where Film Lovers Go Local By Elizabeth Meyer

Multiplex theaters have become a fixture of the suburban American landscape. And like their neighbors, big box stores and strip malls, the multiplexes offer pretty much the same fare from one locale to the next. Hollywood blockbusters screen next door to one another in theaters boasting as many as 20 screens.