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I've given up trying to understand my own life," Terry Gilliam says. "I'm just trying to make sense of the world this life is taking place in." The movie director emits a high-pitched giggle.
At the moment, Gilliam's "world" is located in the trendy restaurant in Manhattan's Tribeca Grand Hotel, but, just as he's done for decades, the director is continuing to parse the meaning of life on film. His latest movie, The Zero Theorem, focuses on a discontented misanthrope, played by Django Unchained's Christoph Waltz, who attempts to »
The Zero Theorem is director Terry Gilliam-squared. The sci-fi film features all of his trademarks—unhinged characters, oppressive societies, canted angles and zooms, colorful settings—and then pushes them to a level that would border on self-parody if Gilliam wasn't already a self-deprecating person. There's something fearless inside the Zero Theorem in that the movie tries to wear its brain on its sleeve, which is good because there's more pontificating than genuine romance. The movie will inevitably invite comparisons to Gilliam's masterpiece Brazil, but The Zero Theorem struggles to solve its own problem, namely, turning all of its subtext into text. Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) is an anti-social introvert who would rather stay at home inside his abandoned chapel than go to work at Mancom where he excels as a "number cruncher." He wants to stay at home because he's anticipating a mysterious phone call, and is terrified he'll miss it. »
- Matt Goldberg
Films from notables Nick Cave, Kevin Smith and Terry Gilliam, and another featuring Downton Abbey vet Dan Stevens are helping fill this weekend’s box office, despite studio blockbuster debuts for The Maze Runner and This Is Where I Leave You.
In all, 14 specialty films are debuting this weekend, at the front edge of awards season and the time of year when “serious” films hit the screens left and right. We have The Guest, with Stevens; The Zero Theorem by Gilliam; Smith’s Tusk; Tracks, the latest from the producers of The King’s Speech; and Cave’s doc 20,000 Days On Earth.
And, like a TV informercial, there’s more: the doc Pump, boundary-jumper Stop The Pounding Heart; and Swim Little Fish Swim. Just to fill out the marquees, we also have Tribeca-winning doc Keep On Keepin’ On; Flamenco, Flamenco; Hector And The Search For Happiness; Iceman; Hollidaysburg; and Not Cool. »
- Brian Brooks
Black Holes and Revelations: Gilliam’s Cluttered Dystopia a Mixed Return to Form
In what stands as his best film since 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, director Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem still isn’t quite the dystopic juggernaut one might have hoped for, though it does slightly resemble one of his most noted works, 1985’s Brazil. However, this isn’t quite that state of mind, though it does in fact revolve mightily around the state of its protagonist’s conflicted existence and his unrequited search for meaning in a world that instead contends there absolutely is none. Being treated to a demure theatrical release over a year after its premiere at the 2013 Venice Film Festival, it’s being handled as a boutique title, likely to wallow into the same nether regions as Gilliam’s last several titles, like the valiant exercise The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus »
- Nicholas Bell
If you’ve ever written something about Terry Gilliam, there’s a good possibility he’s read it. Unlike his contemporaries, he makes a habit of checking out everything from reviews of his films to the comments on his Facebook wall. Of course, Gilliam has always been hard to pin down, particularly when it comes to the products he puts on screen. From “Brazil” to “12 Monkeys” to “The Fisher King,” the 73-year-old director is someone who looks to challenge our preconceived notions about personal relationships and the world around us. (Be sure to check out our retrospective and ranking of his films here). For his latest project, Gilliam once again heads back to the land of sci-fi with “The Zero Theorem” (our review). The film, which takes place in a utopian society in the distant future, stars Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, an anti-social computer programmer who tries to figure out the meaning of life. »
- Alex Suskind
"I'll always be anti-authoritarian, as long as I live," says Terry Gilliam, the comic provocateur who's been taking aim at the establishment for over four decades. The only thing that changes: his targets. In Life of Brian, it was religion. In Brazil, the government. And in his latest film, The Zero Theorem, it's the biggest oppressor of all: big business. Says Gilliam, "Governments are second rate compared to corporations when it comes to power and influence on our lives." The Zero Theorem stars Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, a reclusive computer drone whose life is at the mercy of his employer, Mancorp. His boss, a godlike figure named Management (Matt Damon), and his underlings dictate everything from Qohen's therapist (Tilda Swinton) to his sexual »
20. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
So…drugs, right? Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 novel of the same title, Fear and Loathing stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro as Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, respectively. The pair is heading to Sin City, speeding through the Nevada desert, under the influence of mescaline. From there, the film is series a bizarre hallucinations seen through the eyes of Duke. So, we jump from hotel room to hotel room, all of the action a blur of what is happening and what really isn’t. Throughout the course of the film, Duke and/or Gonzo ingest the following drugs: mescaline, sunshine acid, diethyl ether, LSD, cocaine, and adenochrome (probably more). Duke – who is a Thompson stand-in – is supposed to be writing an article before heading back to Los Angeles, but tends to get sidetracked quite a bit. In »
- Joshua Gaul
The first time I recall Terry Gilliam‘s name being used to sell me on a movie it was City of Lost Children, but that was through a critic blurb making a comparison between the Brazil director and City‘s Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. Prior to that, though, he’d actually lent his name as a presenter for their Delicatessen. I might not have discovered those movies without the endorsement. Later, Gilliam also put his name in a similar manner on Bill Plympton’s Idiots and Angels. As a Gilliam fan, I fell in love with Jeunet’s work immediately, while I’d already been into Plympton and now had more reason to appreciate the animation legend. I don’t know that Gilliam attached his name to anything before, between or after those two — I’m not counting the BBC TV adaptation of the book The Last Machine: Early Cinema and the Birth of the »
- Christopher Campbell
As we look in the rearview mirror of the summer blockbusters, September heralds the start of the fall movie season. Filled with Hollywood heavyweights and A-listers, here’s our Big list of the most anticipated movies coming to cinemas this autumn and during the holidays.
Our exhaustive list includes films that are playing at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival as well the ones that already have a theatrical release date. With the awards season on the horizon, we also added a few bonus films at the end to keep your eye out for in the months ahead.
Pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper and get ready for Wamg’s Guide to the 100+ Films This Fall And Holiday Season.
We kick it off with what’s showing in Toronto at the film festival that runs September 4 – 14.
- Movie Geeks
Last August here in Saint Louis is a very distinctive time of year. We’re right on the cusp of September and as the rest of the continent starts to cool down, the summer doldrums morph into powerful storms and heavy rain. This happens in spring as well but that season is no fun because tornadoes show up and everyone has to flee for the nearest basement. No, the last week of August is much stranger; the temperatures are still high but as muggy days dissolve into balmy nights, the sky cracks open and oceans spill forth. I sound poetic about this because these changes herald the absolute most wonderful time of year, as many of our residents will testify; early autumn. September is a wonderful month for me, as it’s my birthday, and that is followed up by October, both the best month of the year, containing the best day of the year. »
- Chris Melkus
Sometimes it’s a wonder he gets any movies made at all. Over the course of his legendary career, Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys) has built a reputation as a director who likes to try for the impossible — be they shots, scenes, or entire movies. This is, after all, a man who made a romantic comedy about homeless people, madness, and death (The Fisher King). A man who made a microbudget, absurdist, effects-laden coming-of-age fantasy (Tideland). A man who made a film of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that's just as nutty, if not more so, as the original book.Sometimes his job is difficult because he sets impossible challenges for himself. Sometimes it’s difficult because fate doesn’t cooperate: His attempted filming of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was famously scuttled due to horrid weather and an ill lead, as depicted »
- Bilge Ebiri
Opening Night – World Premiere
David Fincher, USA, 2014, Dcp, 150m
David Fincher’s film version of Gillian Flynn’s phenomenally successful best seller (adapted by the author) is one wild cinematic ride, a perfectly cast and intensely compressed portrait of a recession-era marriage contained within a devastating depiction of celebrity/media culture, shifting gears as smoothly as a Maserati 250F. Ben Affleck is Nick Dunne, whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on the day of their fifth anniversary. Neil Patrick Harris is Amy’s old boyfriend Desi, Carrie Coon (who played Honey in Tracy Letts’s acclaimed production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) is Nick’s sister Margo, Kim Dickens (Treme, Friday Night Lights) is Detective Rhonda Boney, and Tyler Perry is Nick’s superstar lawyer Tanner Bolt. At once a grand panoramic vision of middle America, a uniquely disturbing exploration of the fault lines in a marriage, »
I finally got a chance to see Terry Gilliam’s new film The Zero Theorem and was mightily impressed by its ability to conjure some of the magic of Gilliam classics like Brazil and Twelve Monkeys (albeit in a far warmer, less brutal manner than the latter film). So I'm really glad we're debuting these character posters that don't just showcase the performers in the film, but the philosophies of the people they are playing. The movie is all about ideas, a philosophical dialogue. And these get at that. The Zero Theorem stars Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, a computer hacker who searches for the meaning of life while being distracted by Management, a shadowy figure from an Orwellian corporation; Melanie Thierry, Tilda Swinton, and David Thewlis also star. The film hits iTunes today, August 19th and limited theaters on September 19th. Be sure to check out the trailer and »
- Evan Dickson
The lineups for the Mavericks, Discovery, and Tiff Kids parts of the Toronto Film Festival were announced, wrapping up a series of lineup announcements for the Toronto International Film Festival.
With the added films, the festival’s entire slate is now a whopping 393 movies. Two hundred eighty-five of those movies are feature films, of which 143 are world premieres.
The Mavericks portion of the festival includes onstage discussions following the screening of each film. Do I Sound Gay? will be followed by a talk between director David Thorpe and sex-advice guru Dan Savage. Also premiering in that space is The 50 Year Argument, »
- Jacob Shamsian
Bill Murray is coming to Toronto folks. Actually, the film he stars in (Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent) is having its official World Premiere launch at the jaw-dropping 285 feature film 2014 Tiff line-up. In the final batch of items we finally get the confirmation that 2014′s Palme d’Or Winner Winter Sleep (which gets added along with a trio of others to the Masters Programme) will show, and Tomm Moore’s highly anticipated Song of the Sea (among the four item line-up for Tiff Kids) also lands. Worth mentioning are the sprinkling of add-ons to the various other sections (Marjane Satrapi’s Sundance preemed The Voices, Matt Shakman’s Cut Bank and the world preem of Danis Tanovic’s Tigers) with a Studio Ghibli docu item being fitted into the Tiff Docs, but it is the Discovery Programme that finally takes shape.
The “up-and-comers” include Berlin Film Fest (and future Nyff »
- Eric Lavallee
Jennifer Aniston, Juliette Binoche, Steve Carell, Michael Douglas, Tina Fey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton, Melissa Leo, Bill Murray, Bill Nighy, Al Pacino, Vanessa Redgrave, Adam Sandler, John Travolta and Kristen Wiig are among the array of stars expected to alight on the red carpet of the 2014 Toronto Film Festival.
The fest today revealed an impressive roster of helmers and thesps planning to boost their latest work in Toronto next month. And with the critical four-day opening weekend packed exclusively — as per the new fest policy — with world premieres and North American premieres of studio awards contenders, buzzy acquisition titles, and hot U.S. and international arthouse fare, you can expect media frenzies, flash mobs of buyers, and intense afterparty rivalries like never before.
Slates for Mavericks, Discovery, and Tiff Kids were also unveiled today, as were a handful of late-breaking adds to other programs, bringing this year’s grand total to 393 films, »
- Jennie Punter
Poznan, Poland— Michael Price gets around. The British composer leaves Poznan today after being one of the featured speakers at the Transatlantyk Festival, a week-long event dedicated to film, music, and cuisine, to head straight to Los Angeles for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday (16). Price is nominated for the first time for Outstanding music composition for a miniseries, movie or a special (original dramatic score) for “Sherlock,” the BBC series he composes music for with David Arnold. Price apprenticed with a number of composers, but he also worked as a music editor for years, on such films as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Love Actually,” and “Nanny McPhee.” I hopped in a car with Price to interview him on our way to Transatlantyk’s closing gala. You started as an assistant for the late composer Michael Kamen ("Brazil,""Band Of Brothers," "Lethal Weapon," "Mr. Holland's Opus"), who »
- Melinda Newman
It has now been confirmed that Robin Williams, who was found dead on Monday (August 11), took his own life.
What has not been confirmed, yet is bizarrely still being widely reported, is that Williams suffered from either bipolar disorder or clinical depression. While he was candid about his drug and alcohol addiction, for which he most recently sought treatment last month, Williams never stated that he had been diagnosed with any other mental illness.
Asked specifically by NPR's Terry Gross in 2006, Williams in fact confirmed the opposite. "No clinical depression, no," he said. "I get bummed, like I think a lot of us do at certain times. You look at the world and go 'Whoa'. Other moments you look and go 'Oh, things are okay'.
"Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes. Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? »
If anyone knows how movies can damage people, it’s Terry Gilliam. The director has battled over many a film in his time. He fought Universal brass over Brazil, and Columbia over The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Most catastrophically, he battled weather, disaster, and illness during the original shoot of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. […]
- Russ Fischer
After nearly two decades of aborted attempts and frustration, Terry Gilliam seems like he will finally bring “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” to life. The “Brazil” filmmaker and Monty Python member told TheWrap on Thursday that he has financing for the film and plans to shoot after Christmas. The script has evolved significantly since he first tried to make the movie with Johnny Depp in the late '90s (see the documentary “Lost in La Mancha” for a very detailed look at that era), and now is a modernized, »
- Jordan Zakarin
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