Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Terry Gilliam Video Interviews

You can now watch two big fat chunks of Terry Gilliam talking to a mini DV camera on the BBC website. The questions were suggested by readers of the BBC website - see if you can hear the ones of mine they use when they pop up. They're read out word-for-word.

1. Your films are undervalued, it seems, for an average of five years, and then their reputations start to bloom. How long until Brazil finally removes Citizen Kane from the top spot of the critical canon? I reckon it'll be some point circa 2014.

2. Both Brothers Grimm and Tideland have been criticised by short sighted critics - but in totally contrary ways. Do you feel that people are trying to hedge you in and tell you what a Terry Gilliam film should be like?

3. You seem to like rather scatological films. What did you make of Freddy Got Fingered, Tom Green's work of visionary genius? (I know that's a leading question, but this film was slaughtered by the critics - and it's far more clever than any of them ever even suspected. You've been there - you know what it's like)

4. There's a lot of anti-CG sentiment amongst critics and viewers, but to me, it's just another tool, like a pen, or a filter, or greenscreen. What do you think? And where do you think the technology of cinema is going next? Are you going with it?

5. Almost as a footnote to question 4, a number of previously 2D films are getting the 3D treatment - Chicken Little, pieces of Superman Returns and the whole of Nightmare Before Xmas were upconverted from 2D to 3D. Which of your films would you like to see - or even just consent to seeing - transformed into three dimensions? (By the way, the new Real-D process is very convincing and you can quite easily forget the glasses/gimmick if the film is good)

6. Apparently there have been plans to turn The Baron and Brazil into musicals. Neither has happened yet. How about just giving us a new musical film, from the ground up. Something with your old chums the Tiger Lillies, perhaps?

7. You've had a number of regular collaborators over the years, but you no longer seem to work with Roger Pratt, amongst them. Why not? Is it personal, professional or a creative decision? Pratt is still, for my money, the most talented DP out there, despite working on some less... exciting films - though I'm sure that Nicola Pecorini is, as well you know, quite the genius also.

8. In reading about Tideland I keep hearing the same few reference points again and again - Alice in Wonderland, Andrew Wyeth's paintings, Psycho, A Rose For Emily - but I dare say that there's some more, possibly very esoteric, ways of looking at Tideland's relationship to other works. Care to share any with us now?

9. What's happening with Dan Leno? Anything for Billy? The Defective Detective?

10. Is Stephen Evans really going to make a million dreams come true and get you the money together for Good Omens? like, really really? It's almost too good to be true.

11. Good Omens is, in prose form, very funny - but apparently quite hard to translate into a visual narrative without coming up with a whole new load of jokes - which I'm sure you have. Are people going to see this as a Pythonesque film? Do you care?

12. Is filmmaking an art, craft, science, labour, chore...? All of the above?

13. Why don't you plant a time capsule now so that when Tideland is properly feted in about five years time, you can dig it up, remove the DVD inside, play it back and show people a clip of you saying "Told you so". We both know that it's going to happen.

14. Enough.

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