Terry Gilliam is a brilliant director, and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” looks to be one of the talented filmmaker’s most visually complex motion pictures to date. The international trailer for this upcoming slice of mind-melting eye candy isn’t even two minutes long, yet it generates more giddiness and unbridled mirth in me than any preview in recent memory. Is this because “Brazil” is my favorite movie of all-time? Maybe. Could all of this excitement be a result of my fanboy status? Perhaps. Regardless of whether or not my opinion is biased, you can’t deny that Gilliam’s latest is a feast for the eyes, and promises to be one of one of the year’s most engaging experiences. Did you see how I arrived at this conclusion without having laid eyes on the finished product? Yes, I’m pathetic. Allow me to briefly hang my head in shame.
As usual, here’s the synopsis for the uninitiated:
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus tells the story of Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick, in which he won immortality. Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate.
Although the film gets the theatrical treatment in some markets this October, North American movie-goers won’t get to take a peak at Gilliam’s “Imaginarium” until December 25th.