grassroots gilliam

And speaking of filmmakers who know a little something about battling working in Hollywood, Terry Gilliam’s new film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, will be released in the UK on October 16.  From the sudden, tragic death of star Heath Ledger to uncertainty regarding completion of the film to unenthusiastic distribution from Sony in the US–this film has not had an easy road of it.  Gilliam and many of his fans have been eagerly getting the word out regarding its imminent release (as you’ll see below), trying to turn what was initially a tragedy into something of value.  You’ll get no argument from me that Gilliam’s work this decade has been uneven.  But Parnassus looks wonderful and the reviews have been strong on both sides of the Atlantic.

The video below shows Gilliam/Parnassus supporters getting the word out in London.  It’s not just new filmmakers who need publicity, you know.  Pretty cool.

And if you haven’t yet seen the trailer for the film… watch it below.  Gilliam is still one of our great fantasists and it looks like this may be a return to form.


burn hollywood burn


The Hollywood dream factory has always sold bullshit to the eager masses.  Some years are worse than others, some decades shine brighter with genuine talent and provocative films.  And sometimes, if the stars are right… real art may be conjured.

I’m talking mainstream, commercial films here, just so we’re clear.  Films made by the major studios.  There’s just as much garbage in the pseudo-indie sphere as well and the genuine independent arena is a whole other matter.  But junk is junk and it exists anywhere and everywhere.

But screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman thinks the situation in Hollywood is dire and getting worse.  I can’t argue that it’s a depressing situation.  Do we really need another superhero movie?  Have the studios simply given up on making films for adults?

But I’ll hold out for some sort of creative resurgence.  There’s no arguing that the current model of film distribution (just like in the music industry) is antiquated, oppressive, and in need of restructuring.  The major studios are dinosaurs and seemingly lumbering into the tar pits.  Though haven’t they always been that way?

When we least expect it, a new wave always comes crashing down.  The last time young filmmakers infiltrated the ranks of the studios (ten years ago) we saw the arrival of Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, and others.  None of them make blockbusters, of course.  But most of the films they created did make money while furthering the medium in artistic ways.

So I hold out hope.  For now.

Perhaps Kaufman will figure a way to write himself (and us) out of this narrative purgatory.

You can read Kaufman’s comments here.

president obama and the nobel peace prize

I’m not going to deny it: I love seeing Republicans turn inside-out over President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize this morning.  I think everyone is shocked.  But after watching the cable news shows and scanning various web pages, it seems the Republican response–and that of many liberals as well–can be summed up below.