Friday, August 11, 2006

Terry Gilliam And Tony Grisoni Update

There was a lot of interesting action in a Q&A after the screening of Tideland at the Curzon Soho last night. Here are some key pieces.

- Terry Gilliam is visibly angry at Johnny Depp. Films are falling through because funding isn't forthcoming and funding isn't forthcoming because Depp won't sign on the dotted line. I believe we are to assume this means Good Omens, and possibly Anything For Billy, though The Man Who Killed Don Quixote could well be suffering too.

- The Phillip K. Dick film mentioned in the last couple of days is going ahead, but the details aren't quite as previously reported. Grisoni commented that the film isn't a biopic, though it contains biographical content, and that it adapts a book Dick never actually finished writing so, in writing the script, one could "do whatever you want." The official line on Gilliam's involvement was that, officially, he isn't. Yet. The sound of that word 'Yet' was music to my ears. Gilliam was clearly interested and he and Grisoni had clearly discussed the project to some extent.

- Grisoni fielded an additional question in the foyer. From his answer I learnt that, apparently, he and Gilliam argue regularly over budget. Tony can't understand why Terry doesn't make films in the lower budget ranges rather than persisting with big and mid-budget work (respectively, films like The Brothers Grimm or Tideland). On stage, previously, Gilliam had suggested that low budget films had no marketing money and went unseen, but that doesn't explain the very respectable audiences for Blair Witch, Primer, Halloween, Clerks, and so on.

- Tideland is now playing with a filmed introduction in which Gilliam helps the audience get into 'the right mindset'. Gently amusing though possibly rather redundant, the film is a single shot of Gilliam addressing camera, and offers nothing as elaborate, funny or pointed as The Dress Pattern - his intro to Fear and Loathing, which you can see on the Criterion disc.

Gilliam asked for a show of hands to illustrate who in the audience found the intro 'useful'. Only a small number of hands didn't go up - a handful, if you will.

There were, thankfully, no walk outs during the performance and a good percentage of the audience reacted very positively to the film overall. I can't tell you how much of a relief this was - I nearly lynched my counterparts in a press screening last week for not looking at the screen instead of their notepads. Haven't they seen Almost Famous?

Tidleand is a film that demands your full attention and turning your back on it isn't an option.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Didn't you have good seats!