TERRY GILLIAM ACCIDENTALLY DELETES THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE

LONDON – Terry Gilliam today admitted that he had accidentally deleted his new film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

Terry Gilliam took 17 years to complete his new film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Having only yesterday announced to excited fans that he had finished the film, he returned to Facebook today with a heartbreaking message, entitled ‘I should have made a backup copy’:

So I had the film wrapped, everything shot, and as with all movies these days it was all digital. I had it on a portable hard drive but when I unplugged it from the computer I forgot to click on that ‘safely remove hardware thing’ and apparently it formatted the whole disc. Erasing the movie. I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t you make a backup? and I can only say, I don’t know. But don’t worry fans, I’ll be making it again next year and every year for the rest of my life.

The film had gone through a number of versions with different casts, including a version with Robert Duvall and Ewan MacGregor and one with Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp. The most recent iteration starred Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will begin filming again in 2018.

47 FILMS: 27. THE LIFE OF BRIAN

In our continuing series of 47 films to watch before you are murdered in your dreams, we look at Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

Choosing a favorite Monty Python film is like choosing a favorite dad, utterly pointless. All your dads are fantastic and if you want them to take the blood test to find out which one is the real one then I pity your feeble-minded pedantry.

Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and John Cleese were both collectively and individually responsible for some of the finest British/American comedy ever made. Their first film And Now for Something Completely Different was a rehash of their sketch show repackaged for non-Brit audiences. The Quest for the Holy Grail has a frail pretense of plot but is essentially a sketch show around a theme, but is a work of anarchic genius that has managed to survive endless quote-athons. It is a ballsy, funny film, which throws ideas out as soon as the comedy has been done and includes some moments of such comedy perfection, it’s breathtaking.

Their next film had more plot and a tighter focus for the satire. The Life of Brian tells the story of the reluctant Messiah, Brian, the poor bastard born in the stable next door to Jesus. Along the way it rips the merry piss out of religion at a time when Christianity still had a stranglehold on the censors in a number of countries, leading to it being banned in a number of countries, leading to the hilarious poster tag ‘So funny, Norway banned it.’

Monty Python were no doctrinaire enemies of religion as such: their targets were the humorless. These included political fanatics ‘SPLITTERS!’; the authority figures of the Roman administrators ‘Biggus Dickus’ and the religious authorities ‘No one is to stone any one until I blow this whistle’ as well as the religious fundamentalists, who take little over three minutes from the creation of a new religion to the murder of the first blasphemer. Jesus is a distant figure preaching too far away to be properly heard, ‘Blessed are the cheese makers?’

In 1979, people were spitting feathers about this film, but I know priests who now use sketches from the film to prove their point about the twisting of religion to evil ends. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if we could have a Muslim Monty Python merrily upsetting the Ummah, and in the process puncturing some of the pomposity and self-seriousness which allows the most tragically absurd ideas to survive.

For more of our 47 Films Click Here.

47 FILMS: 26. BRAZIL

HOLLYWOOD – In the latest in our series of 47 Films You Have to See Before You Are Murdered in Your Dreams, we look at Terry Gilliam’s suitably nutty Brazil.

Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is an unambitious man working his humdrum job in records, dealing with a fully automated home where everything malfunctions and living happily enough in a society plagued terrorist attacks and an authoritarian regime that suppresses all freedom.  Like Hamlet, he would be happy ‘were it not that I have bad dreams’.  Okay. Sam’s dreams are a Mitty like escape from the fearful drudgery that surrounds him. He is a winged knight forever rescuing the fair maiden, but it is this which will get him in so much trouble when he meets his fantasy in the form of real life trucker Jill (Kim Greist). This leads him to accept the promotion his mother (Katherine Helmond) has finagled to Information Retrieval.

Brazil presents perhaps the most successful cinematic version of George Orwell’s 1984 – there are several direct references in the film. However, Gilliam’s dystopia is not only oppressive by design but arbitrarily incompetent. The whole course of events starts with a typo, the ghost in the machine is a squashed fly. The ludicrous – rogue plumbers who actually fix things on time are considered terrorists, socialites compete on who can have the most radical plastic surgery – mix with the horrifying. There’s something dreadful in Sam’s fate as he is essentially a little boy, cosseted by his mother and who has never questioned the world in which he lives, as he races whooping towards a confrontation with forces he doesn’t understand. Pryce is perfect in the role. And the cameos are all pitch perfect grotesques. Gilliam’s fellow Python, Michael Palin is excellent as Sam’s cheery peer, a friendly torturer who is as much fascinated by office politics as he is committed to his own gruesome efficiency; Bob Hoskins as Spoor, the government plumber and Robert de Niro as Tuttle, the rogue plumber.

Gilliam’s visual sense creates a detailed and visually striking world, the creaking 1940s technology of tubes and ducts. Tom Stopard co-screenwriter is on hand to give the same detail to the language of euphemism and coercion that dominates the film. Or the deputy minister Helpman (Peter Vaughn) with his endless supply of sporting metaphors. Read the posters in the background – ‘Don’t Suspect a Friend, Report Him!’

Brazil was Gilliam’s masterpiece and the troubles he had making the film and getting it distributed set him on a trajectory of awkwardness for years to come, but frankly it was worth it.

For more of our 47 Films Click Here.

MARTIN SCORSESE’S FISHER KING SEQUEL: FIRST LOOK

HOLLYWOOD – Martin Scorsese’s sequel to the Terry Gilliam classic The Fisher King has just finished filming in Taiwan.

Starring Andrew Garfield in the role of Jack Lucas, a former shock jock who on inadvertently causing a mass shooting in a restaurant and falls from grace, Martin Scorsese’s film has been shooting under the strictest of secrecy. The 1991 film starred Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams as a homeless man called Parry who Jack befriends and who helps Jack put together his life by facing what he has done. Details about the new film are relatively scarce but one synopsis reveals:

Two Jesuit priests – Jack Law (Andrew Garfield) and Parry (Adam Driver) travel to 17th century Japan. Here, the Tokugawa shogunate has banned Catholicism and all foreign contact. Japanese Christians are persecuted at the hands of their own government which wishes to purge Japan of all western influence. Jack Law travels the countryside, wondering why God remains silent while His children suffer.

As can be gleaned from this short synopsis, Fisher King 2 looks like a prequel rather than a direct follow on, perhaps using the idea of the Arthurian myth of the original Fisher King to take us way back into history to one of Jack’s distant ancestors.

The Fisher King 2 will be released in 2016.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

TERRY GILLIAM FILMING WORLD CUP MOVIE

BRAZIL – Monty Python director Terry Gilliam is beginning principal photography on The World Cup today. The film will document the most important football tournament in the world while adding touches of Gilliam’s own surreal humor.

Although Gilliam has been toying with the idea for years, he has faced opposition both from the studios and FIFA. He told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

Heath Ledger was going to play the captain of the Australian football team, but unfortunately he died again. I called Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell and someone else but their phones all seem to be broken. Tom Waits is playing the referee/the Grim Reaper. FIFA were really unhelpful. 

Why?

Well, at the end of the football games I wanted a huge foot to drop on the pitch and squash the players like ants. They didn’t get it.

What made you choose to make this film?

It’s in Brazil. And I made Brazil. And … that’s it.

Do you like football?

Erm. No. 

The World Cup: The Unofficial Film will be released in 2015. 

TERRY GILLIAM FANS STRAIN TO LIKE FILM

HOLLYWOOD – Five Terry Gilliam fans were rushed to hospital last night with injuries sustained while straining to like his latest film The Zero Theorem, starring Christoph Waltz.

Doctors said their condition was stable but it is the only latest in a spate of incidents involving fans of the ex-Python’s work as his latest film once more fails to be anything other than ho-hum.

Despite having made some of the weirdest and most interesting cinema of the 80s-90s, the Brazil director has hit a bit of rut of late. Starring Johnny Depp, The Man who Killed Don Quixote fell through after flash floods and terminal illness attacked the crew and cast. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was fatally wounded by the premature death of star Heath Ledger and though the intent to slog on was admirably obstinate, the result was less than satisfying. Tideland was a minor curiosity and The Brothers Grimm was caked cack.
Medical authorities have warned that the best way of coping is to radically lower expectations prior to viewing. Dr. Sepious Brown said:

Try to take into account that the studios are never going to give Terry the money he needs to really bring his visions to life. Add to this that his ability to tell a story seems to have got lost along the way. So anyone planning on seeing The Zero Theorem should perhaps prepare for it by watching some of Terry’s most recent films.

The Zero Theorem is currently in theatres. Please approach with caution.  

JOAQUIN PHOENIX LANDS ROLE AS SELLECK

HOLLYWOOD – Gladiator and The Master star Joaquin Phoenix has landed the coveted role of actor Tom Selleck in the biopic Selleck.

The long awaited biopic of moustache carrier and Magnum PI star has long been a pet project of Oliver Stone, but is now finally finding traction under the direction of Terry Gilliam, due (ironically) to a conspiracy.

Gilliam spoke to Studio Exec on the express condition that it was EXCLUSIVELY exclusive:

Oliver was attached early on and will get a story credit, but a lot of people think Oliver’s an asshole, from the man on the street going right up to the highest levels of government, as well as the top level organised crime lords. These men met in dark rooms and decided to take away his pet project, the Selleck biopic, and give it to me. The money was good so I said yes.

Joaquin Phoenix is understood to be preparing for the role by walking around pretending to be an actor.

Selleck will be released in 2015. 

MONTY PYTHON PLANS COMEBACK

LONDON – Monty Python – the veteran 73 year old British comedian – is to return to the stage for the first time in over a decade. The show entitled ‘An Audience with Us’ will preview next week at the O2 Arena in London. 

The comedian said:

I’m looking forward to getting out there and doing my one man show. I’ll be doing all the characters. I’ll so my Mr. Shouty: John Cleese. I’ll do some songs as Eric Idle. I’ll direct a string of disappointing films as Terry Gilliam. Terry Jones is just going to be there as eye candy basically. Oh and my proudest work is the character I do called Michael Palin. This is my satire on the ineffably stupid idea of someone being a “National Treasure”! Whatever the hell that means.

Monty Python first became famous in the 1960s when he first appeared on British television with the comedy sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Although initially greeted with poor reviews and only modest audience figures, the series went on to become a cult hit and spawned a number of movies. 

Film and television historian Mark Cousins (no relation to film and television historian Mark Cousins) said:

The main stumbling block for many on first seeing Monty Python’s Flying Circus was the revolutionary use of split screen technology which allowed Monty to play a variety of characters at the same time on screen. This led to some people mistakenly believing that he was actually a comedy team, instead of an individual (though admittedly versatile) comedian. Ever the situationist, Python went on to confuse matters further by releasing a series of solo projects by each of his individual characters including hit sit-com Fawlty Towers and the movie Brazil.

   
An Audience with Us will be released on DVD sometime in 2014.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT MONTY PYTHON

FACTLAND – In anticipation of the eagerly awaited stage-bound reunion of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the Studio Exec provides 5 ‘zany’ FACTS about everyone’s favorite comedy team, after the Benny Hills.

1. The Parrot sketch was, is and never will be funny.

2.  The name Monty Python was initially thought up as a combination of Eric Idle’s favorite sexual position ‘Mounting’ and Michael Palin’s pet name for his penis ‘Python’. Flying Circus was the pet name for John Cleese’s arse flaps.

3. Monty Python are all American except for Terry Gilliam who is English.

4. Graham Chapman was murdered by the other Pythons and then his ashes were thrown about the stage during an interview as part of a sick joke. His death was deemed necessary to placate the comedy gods who John Cleese had angered by making Fierce Creatures

5. All the Pythons have had successful solo careers, except for Terry Jones. 


For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE! 

MONTY PYTHON REVEALS MENTAL ILLNESS PAIN

LONDON – Monty Python – perhaps the most famous and popular post War British comedian – spoke today exclusively to Studio Exec of his years of pain, including long bouts of mental illness and depression.

‘I’m speaking out, so that millions like me will understand they are not alone,’ said Mr. Python, relaxing in his state of the art caravan at a park near Skegness.

Python (73) first became famous in Britain with a groundbreaking television series in the late sixties before turning his attention to the cinema where he made four internationally successful films including the widely regarded comedy classics Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python and the Life of Brian. But behind the laughter there was a terrible tragedy and even those close to Python, rarely guessed how deep it went.

I think even as a child I suffered from a form of this. Probably less serious. I would do different voices and even try to make myself look shorter or taller depending on who I was with. But as it went on, it became a compulsion. 

It was only in 1976 that Python was correctly diagnosed as having Multiple Personality Disorder. As well as being Monty, he would introduce himself as Michael, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric, John or Graham. He insisted that all his work was credited to all his personalities and some of them differed so much, involving also a physical metamorphosis that many even believed they were different people.

A composite portrait

I think that was a tipping point. When I started getting separate royalties for each personality and I would have to do press conferences and talk about the differing personalities of the group. It only served to validate the illness.

Some relief came in the late eighties when he managed to kill off one of his personalities – Graham – but it proved a false dawn.

Without Graham, there was no balance and I’m afraid I went into a tail spin. The only thing I could do was get away with a series of travel documentaries, the odd sit-com cameo and some Broadway musicals which were so stiflingly boring they passed as therapy.  

So why speak out now when so many people still thing you are actually a team of separate individuals?

Because I see One Direction and The Rolling Stones and I want to say, “It’s okay. Tell everyone it is ONE Direction. It is The Rolling Stone.

Monty Python: My Lives is published by Harper Collins this month.

TOP 5 CGI CLICHES

HOLLYWOOD – The Studio Exec FACT squad picks the top 5 worst CGI cliches.

The Studio Exec – the finest Film resource on the internet – brings you the 5 worst CGI clichés ever made in any film ever and shown on cinema screens in a movie house.


1, The flock of birds
A cityscape of obvious CGI-ness, a surging score, you can already hear Terry Gilliam saying ‘It’s only a model!’, but then Lo! what’s that? a flock of birds departs from the eaves of one part of the city and heads somewhere else. The audience can be heard gasping at the realisation that as birds live here this is a real city, for if it wasn’t, where would they live? Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Star Wars: The Phantom Diarrhoea and The Game of Thrones.

2, Following a ballistic weapon, missile, arrow etc. to its target
Before CGI audiences would watch actions scenes with an arched eyebrow, and a monocle, smoking cigarettes in long cigarette holders and they would murmur: ‘That’s all very well, old boy, but if I don’t follow the cannonball from cannon mouth to explosion how can I really know what is happening?’ Please see The Alamo, Pearl Harbor, Lord of the Rings.
3, A character (usually a witness to a conspiracy) getting suddenly hit by a car, or truck
the sudden shock of a character being hit by a speeding vehicle has been much reduced by the fact we’ve now seen it on a number of occasions. Please see The Edge of Darkness, World War Z, 21 Jump Street.
4, Strangely clean gore
Ruby red blood gouting out of bodies torn literally to pixels. Please see Blade, 300, Resident Evil.
5, Hordes
be they armies rushing at each other into battle, to the then clash in the middle, or zombie lemmings pouring over walls, there’s something about the hyper realism of the horde which is as disconcerting as Robert Zemeckis’ dead eyes. World War Z, 300Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and I am Legend. 

For more FACTS click HERE.