Dr. Parnassus: "Nothing's permanent, not even death."
2009-12-18 0:00

By Brian Truitt | USAWeekend.com


"Maybe the most memorable thing about Heath was that he seemed to be such an ancient soul. He seemed far older than his years. He was probably 243 years old when he died. I always thought he had aboriginal blood in him.”


Terry Gilliam, a founding member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus some 40 years ago, still is in awe of that comedy troupe’s enduring popularity all over the world. “I guess it’s a combination of being anti-authoritarian, incredibly silly and very intelligent,” Gilliam says. But as memorable as he was on the BBC, he’s been equally famous as the wildly imaginative filmmaker of Time Bandits, Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. His colorful visions are back on screen with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (in theaters on Christmas Day), and they couldn't be more welcome since they bring us the last starring role of the late Heath Ledger. Read below for some of Gilliam’s conversation with our Nancy Mills, and check out a trailer from the director’s new film.


Video from: YouTube.com

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a morality tale featuring Ledger in the role of a mysterious stranger, discovered hanging under a bridge by a passing theater company. His character is not really dead, but who exactly is he? When Ledger died nearly two years ago during filming, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell agreed to take over transforming versions of his character in order to help Gilliam finish the film. They donated their fees to Ledger’s daughter, Matilda. The film also ends with this credit: “A Film from Heath Ledger and Friends.” “We finished the film, and it is what it is because of friends of Heath coming to the rescue out of friendship and love,” Gilliam says.

Gilliam has had catastrophes before during production. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was shut down within the first week of filming in 2000 because lead actor Jean Rochefort became ill, and then a flash flood washed away the sets — all chronicled in the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha. (Gilliam hopes to get one more start at production again next spring with a new cast, although he says Depp won’t return to his Quixote sidekick role because “he’s got more swashing and buckling to do” in a new Pirates of the Caribbean flick.) With Imaginarium, producer William Vince died shortly after filming was completed, and Gilliam himself was struck by a car last fall and his back was broken. “The Grim Reaper got Heath and Vince but missed me,” Gilliam says. “It was a close call. I’m back walking almost upright now.”


Talking about his leading man Ledger, with whom he had worked previously on The Brothers Grimm in 2005, Gilliam says, “Heath was constantly trying to learn, trying to improve himself. He was limitless. It’s a terrible loss. We’ll never get to see what greatness was waiting there. Unlike all the others who died young, there wasn’t a kind of neurosis or strangeness. Maybe the most memorable thing about Heath was that he seemed to be such an ancient soul. He seemed far older than his years. He was probably 243 years old when he died. I always thought he had aboriginal blood in him.”

Article from: USAWeekend.com



Related Articles
Heath Ledger’s Last Movie Will Be Packed with Occult Symbolism
Heath Ledger tipped to win posthumous Oscar for 'spellbinding' role in new Batman film
Heath Ledger, Actor, Is Found Dead at 28
Child's Nightmares and Memories Prove Reincarnation (Video)
Immortality only 20 years away says scientist
Lindbergh sought god-like transhuman immortality with Rockefeller eugenicist


Latest News from our Front Page

Estonia must accept African & Middle Eastern immigrants says politician
2015-05-22 3:06
Kalle Laanet, an Estonian politician, spoke at the International Migration Forum held in Tallinn. He told the audience that the question is not: Should Estonia take the African and the Middle Eastern immigrants (who illegally entered Southern Europe)? He said the question is: How will Estonia take the immigrants? “Today the issue is not whether Estonia should receive the refugees coming to ...
Rescuing Palmyra: History's lesson in how to save artefacts
2015-05-21 22:49
With Islamic State militants now inside the historic town of Palmyra in Syria, the question, inevitably, is whether they will destroy the ancient ruins. As IS continues to sweep through parts of Iraq and Syria, damage to centuries-old artefacts - because IS sees statues and shrines as idolatrous - is plentiful. But history has shown that, when culturally important sites are under ...
Saudi Arabia Wants to Convert Sweden to Islam
2015-05-21 20:38
Aje Carlbom is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Malmö Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has actively spread its interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism or Salafism, worldwide. It is the most literal version of Islam and affects many young Muslims, who regard society as a place to Islamize, writes social anthropologist Aje Carlbom. Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström was ...
Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You're 'Unfairly Disadvantaging' Others
2015-05-21 18:22
Bedtime-story privilege? According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they're "unfairly disadvantaging other people's children" by doing so. In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since "bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . ...
If You Read About Conspiracies You're Just Like Osama Bin Laden Apparently
2015-05-21 3:46
At its heart, the story of Osama bin Laden's time at his house in Abbottabad is surreal. The American image of bin Laden - leering at us from under his head wrap as he plots and schemes - is undermined by the mundane realities of his life. The guy was responsible for murdering thousands of Americans and orchestrating a global ...
More News »