Dreams: 2010 News Blog

Edited by Phil Stubbs

Terry Gilliam at the Deauville festival, September 2010

January - August 2010 news - currently under construction

September 2010
As highlighted by Bruttenholm on the Dreams MessageBoard, Terry Gilliam told French website allocine that one of his favourite cinema scenes was from Mulholland Drive

The scene with Naomi Watts, where she comes to audition for a movie. It starts slowly because we're not sure whether she's a good actress or not. And then she gets sexier and sexier, it's one of the sexiest scenes I've ever seen. That scene made her a movie star - not just in the film, but in reality.

But the scene only works because there was a previous scene where she was rehearsing with her roommate, and she's a terrible actress in this. And you know it's going to be so embarrassing when she gets into the real audition, because she can't act - she's terrible. When we go into the real audition, which is the scene that everyone talks about, we're worried because it's going to be so bad. And then she just comes on and she's so hot and sexy. And you're blown away by this actress.

That's one scene that has always with stayed with me. I'm always reminding myself that your favourite scene is really the result of a scene before."

Terry Gilliam was in Deauville for the American Film Festival held there each year. On September 2 2010, Variety reported

Gilliam will open the 36th Deauville American Film Festival with his director's cut of Brazil, as a plethora of celebs and industryites make the trek to the French resort. The 142-minute version of the 1985 movie, which was originally released in Europe, also kicks off a retrospective of Gilliam's work that runs through the fest. After the novelty of a retro opening, rather than a pic making its local bow, Deauville heads further into unknown territory with a weekend devoted to U.S. TV series.

Gilliam poses with his hommage award from Deauville

Variety also, on September 5 2010, reported some quotes from Gilliam from Deauville about the collapse of Quixote funding. Apparently the whole of the Quixote funding fell apart mid-July 2010.

Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has experienced more than the "hiccup" reported in August. "The financing collapsed about a month and a half ago," the helmer said Saturday at the Deauville American Film Festival. "I shouldn't be here. The plan was to be shooting Quixote right now."

Even so, he still wants to push on with the project. "Robert Duval is Quixote, Ewan McGregor is also there, and we are looking for new financing right now," he said.

Gilliam has been trying to make the film for decades. Previous attempts to shoot were memorably captured in Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's 2002 doc Lost in La Mancha. Despite this latest set-back, the helmer said he still didn't believe in the "curse of Quixote."

"Don Quixote gives me something to look forward to, always. Maybe the most frightening thing is to actually make the film." Gilliam is a guest of honor at the festival, which runs until Sept. 12.

A complete retrospective of his work as a director kicked off Friday with 1985's Brazil, which was also the fest's opening film. Gilliam confessed to a weird feeling of deja-vu on seeing his name on the film. "Whoever that guy was, I envy him, because he had a lot more energy than I do now," he said.

According to Bleeding Cool, Gilliam said at Deauville that he was interested in releasing Time Bandits in a 3D version.

On September 14, Deadline reported that Terry Jones is to direct a feature Absolutely Anything in the UK early in 2011. It's a comedy, featuring John Oliver, for Mike Medavoy's Phoenix Pictures. Apparently, Jones is approaching his Python colleagues - including Terry Gilliam - to voice some aliens that feature in the pic.

From September 16, there were reports that Gilliam was shooting in Alabama. He was directing a short film called The Legend of Hallowdega, and further details can be found on the Dreams page

October 2010
This month, Gilliam went to the Morelia Film Festival as guest of honour. Variety reported that...

The fest began in 2003 at a critical moment in Mexican cinema when titles like Amores Perros and Y Tu Mama Tambien had made their way into the American psyche and former President Vicente Fox's administration was set to expand financial incentives for Mexican film. When it was passed nearly five years ago, Efecine, more commonly known as Article 226, spurred a rapid influx of private coin, with 30 companies investing in film under the program the next year, growing to 67 projects by 2008.

Gilliam at the Morelia Film Festival

At the festival, Gilliam told an audience (as reported at the festival's website) that he's considering making his Quixote pic in Mexico. In an article by Gobi Stromberg at the festival's website, Gilliam said, "Going to Mexico has been a secret in the back of my mind. I love the spirit of Mexico; especially the Day of the Dead." He added that he is, "blown away by the architecture." When he further speculated that he is considering filming his next film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, in Mexico, he surprised - and delighted - his audience, who were hearing this news for the first time.

Also, at the Morelia festival, Gilliam gave a masterclass, and there was a retrospective of his work.

On 31 October 2010 - Hallowe'en night - and the day of the AMP Energy 500 race at Talladega, Gilliam's new short film The Legend of Hallowdega was made available at its website. Click here for more from Dreams on the short film.

November 2010
On November 8, Aint-It-Cool-News ran an interview with Gilliam, mainly talking about The Legend of Hallowdega. Gilliam said the following:

I think the new patrons of the arts are corporations - and Pepsi said “We want you to make a little film, you’ve got complete freedom.” That’s it. It’s not a commercial.

It was actually just something fun to do on a week that I had nothing else to do, that’s what it was really about. It was about playing. Again, I’m just trying spell out it’s not a big film that requires all of the production, the pre-production, and the planning. This is just something we kind of threw together quickly, had a good laugh and had a great time.

What was most fun was working with David and Justin. And it’s the same thing, they just came down to play and that’s what we did. It was almost like… I wouldn’t say it’s Python, but it was the same kind of light free fun.

It’s not going to change history. It’s not going to make society better, it’s just having some fun and for me also it was just shooting very fast with a really good crew of people. We just handheld the whole thing and this is so unlike the way I normally work and that for me was one of the things that interested me because I couldn’t spend the time on all of the things I normally spend time on. We would just grab things and to be honest it really loosened me up a lot, possibly for the future even.

It’s such a silly joke… It’s actually just a shaggy dog story, really. It has a very silly ending to it. (Laughs) Even the sound guys were having fun, because when the car gives the final moment… We don’t want to give anything away yet, the car does its final flop, there’s the sound of the pipe and foot.

This happened to come at a right moment where there was a gap and I was depressed and I wanted to do something different, just to shake myself up. This came at just the right time and it’s perked me up to no end.

Gilliam also told AICN that he was currently in LA looking for Quixote funding. He said, "Of course, Quixote is the main thing and we are trying to put the other leg back on the horse, the one that fell off! That’s one reason I’m in LA right now, meeting a lot with people just to get the thing back and running. In fact I just saw Robert Duvall two nights ago, we had drinks and he’s as excited as can be. It’s nice. It’s nice when you’ve got people who are so committed to this project."

The Damnation of Faust
Tickets are now on sale for Terry Gilliam's forthcoming opera, Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust. Ten performances run from 6 May to 7 Jun 2011, at the London Colisuem, on St Martin's Lane. Click here for more from Dreams on Gilliam's take on Faust.

On 22 November 2010, Terry Gilliam celebrated his 70th birthday. Congratulations, Terry, from Dreams.

At the end of November 2010, a puppet donated by Terry Gilliam fetched the most - £460 - at an auction in support of the Norwich Puppet Theatre. In total, £7200 was raised for the venue.

December 2010
Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, both members of Monty Python, went to London's Tower Bridge on December 2 - wearing bowler hats - to publicise a new Python-related video game. Titled The Ministry of Silly Games, it has an official website, where you can register interest in a beta version of the game.

Gilliam and Jones publicise the forthcoming video game

The press release, from game developer Zattikka, said:

London, 2 December, 2010 - Two of British comedy’s leading lights took to the Tower Bridge [yesterday] to unveil The Ministry of Silly Games – the first new Monty Python videogame for 13 years.

Created by leading, UK-based, social gaming company Zattikka in conjunction with the Monty Python team, The Ministry of Silly Games draws its inspiration from British TV’s most memorable comedy series in the form of an innovative new social game which enables players to play the world’s most ridiculous games within a Pythonesque virtual world on Facebook.

Games such as Camelot Smashalot, Gumby Flower Arranging and King Arthur's Knight Fight, among many others, take place within the madcap Monty Python virtual world - and will be available to play for free when the game launches in Q1 next year.

Those who can’t wait to play can apply for early access to the public beta by signing up at www.ministryofsillygames.com from 6th December.

“The Ministry of Silly Games brings Monty Python characters and scenes to life like never before,” says Terry Jones, member, Monty Python. “For years, people have wondered what it would be like to catapult livestock at French fortresses, or play Russian Roulette with an Upper Class Twit. Well now they finally can, thanks to The Ministry of Silly Games.”

“I guess my visuals have always been a bit videogamey,” adds Terry Gilliam, member of Monty Python, “so it’s brilliant seeing them actually in games at last. The Ministry of Silly Games looks like what was inside my head when I was creating all that iconic imagery. I know the game will prove massively popular when it launches.”

Founded in 2009, Zattikka has more than 100 social/casual mobile and online titles in its catalog. It raised $5.5 million in July to further expand its library, which also includes another famous British brand, Mr. Bean. The developer will reveal more about the Monty Python game next month.

"Monty Python is one of the most iconic comedy licenses around, but there has been no new material for over 20 years," says Zattikka CEO Tim Chaney. "The Ministry of Silly Games will be transporting Monty Python into the 21st Century, with a totally new experience for their unique comedy that will delight old and new fans alike."

The full list of games available to play within the virtual world for free, at launch is as follows:

King Arthur's Knight Fight – Frantic "slice-'em-up", featuring the Black Knight, The Killer Rabbit, Tim the Enchanter, the Holy Hand Grenade and God.
Monty Python's Scratch 'N Sniff – Observation game featuring Zattikka's original Flash "Scratchcard" mechanic.
Camelot Smashalot – Catapult livestock, Holy Hand Grenades and Trojan rabbits at the fiendish French fortresses.
Twit Russian Roulette – Keep your Upper-Class Twit alive for as long as you can in this wacky game of Russian Roulette!
Mr Creosote – Feed Mr Creosote his favourite nosh but avoid the wafer thin mints in this fun one-button reaction game.
Gumby Flower Arranging – Help the Gumby match three flowers of the same kind, otherwise he's going to hit himself with bricks!
Gillaxian – Arcade-style shooter that's also a tribute to a great game and a great artist.
Aerial Antics – Balance your TV aerial on household objects to tune in your telly in this fun puzzler.

An example of Garofalo pasta

Early in 2011, Terry Gilliam will be shooting a short film called The Wholly Family in Italy, based on an original script by the director. Funding is coming from Garafalo, a pasta company which has supported Italian film in recent years. Nicola Pecorini is on board as director of photography and Gabriella Pescucci will be the costume designer.

On December 29, Brendon Connelly wrote a piece for Bleeding Cool with details of the director's latest project, suggesting that the project's script was based on a poem with the same name by Eve Merriam. In an email to Dreams and Theresa Shell of the Quixote support site, Gilliam wrote:

"Once again Brendon Connelly has his ear close to the ground. I am indeed doing a short film in Naples. It's paid for by a pasta company called Garofalo. They've been sponsoring short films about Naples every year for the last four. Just another little project to keep me busy and from going mad from inactivity. I wrote the script as an exercise. It's called The Wholly Family. Brendon thinks it's based on a poem by someone called Eve Merriam. WRONG!! NEVER HEARD OF HER OR HER POEM.

Nicola is behind the camera once again. As well as Gabriella Pescucci stitching the costumes. It's better than freezing my ass off in London. And the food is fantastic."

Hopefully, The Wholly Family will be made available at the pasta manufacturer's movie website

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