mandag den 7. april 2014

CPH PIX: Terry Gilliam om "The Zero Theorem", Monty Python og Twitter

Jeg kan godt lide Terry Gilliam. Den farverige amerikaner er altid boblende fuld af humør, vanvidsideer og drilske stikpiller til mainstream Hollywood. I interviews er han forrygende veloplagt, som jeg opdagede, da jeg mødte ham i Venedig i 2005, og Terry Gilliam kæmper så indædt for at realisere sine galmandsværker – som man så det i dokumentaren "Lost in La Mancha" (2002) om hans forheksede evighedsprojekt "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" – at man dårligt kan andet end at holde af manden.

> Brødrene Grimm og Kaptajn Kaos: Mit interview med Terry Gilliam (2005)

Til gengæld har jeg det tit lidt svært med Terry Gilliams film. Hans seneste påhit, fremtidskomedien "The Zero Theorem", vises i aften og på torsdag, 10. marts, på CPH PIX, og trods sjove ideer hist og her er den som helhed en lidt anstrengt affære. Filmen, der havde verdenspremiere på sidste års Venedig-festival, kommer ikke i biografdistribution herhjemme.

Stemningen fejlede som sædvanlig intet, da Terry Gilliam indbød til Q&A om "The Zero Theorem" i Venedig. Trods sine efterhånden 73 år er det gamle Monty Python-medlem stadig en tornado af kåd, drenget energi, som klukker henrykt over egne og andres skæve indfald. Her er nogle af højdepunkterne.

Tweeting is an ugly, ugly habit. My mother told me, if I tweeted, I would go blind.
- Terry Gilliam, Venice 2013

I try very hard to be mediocre, but you need a lot of money to be mediocre.
- Terry Gilliam, Venice 2013

I got rid of them, they were holding me back, they were destroying me!
- Terry Gilliam on the Pythons, Venice 2013

NOTE TO FOREIGN READERS: The following are excerpts from Terry Gilliam's Disaronno Q&A at the Venice Film Festival 2013. "The Zero Theorem" is showing at this year's CPH PIX festival in Copenhagen.

Terry Gilliam (left) at the Venice Film Festival, September 2013 | photo © Brian Iskov

Terry Gilliam on the bright, poppy future in "The Zero Theorem" and the dangers of Twitter:

"Brazil" was rather dark, and I thought [for "The Zero Theorem"] we'd make a happy place where people play at work, where people can be eternally young and juvenile, and nobody has to pay attention to the real world. Just like all of you sitting here today. Just bringing your world alive.

It was important that it was a happy world with lots of shopping, lots of fun, and there was one man [the Christoph Waltz character] who was uncomfortable in that world and just trying to escape it. He wants to know the meaning of life, of his life, and I'm trying to encourage people to find the meaning of your life. Alone. Don't tweet, don't use the web. Go away, be alone and find out who you are.

The future is working backwards now. It has reached us before we have reached it. We're all living in the future and don't realise it. And we're trying to encourage everyone to believe that every day is the present, neither the past nor the future. Live for the present - it only exists for about one second every day. It's so fast, the present, that there's no time to tweet!

Melanie Thiérry in "The Zero Theorem" (2013)

Terry Gilliam on his world view:

I find the world a wonderful place, I find it really exciting. It's beautiful. I'm just more interested in the potentially negative problems of our society, and I like drawing attention to that. So hopefully we can change it for the better.

Terry Gilliam on Hollywood today:

The things that I'm interested in making movies about, the studios don't want to make. I don't want to have any more robots beating up sea creatures, there's enough aliens in the movies, enough people running away from big explosions. I think it's more interesting to look at the real world, occasionally, and try to make an interesting and hopefully funny and moving film.

Terry Gilliam on making low-budget films:

The first thing you need is a lot of very talented friends who will come and work for next to nothing. Then you have to go to Bucharest, where it's one of the cheapest places in Europe to work. What basically happens is, because of these restrictions, you have to find interesting solutions, and those interesting solutions are usually more original than my original ideas.

Terry Gilliam on the legacy of Monty Python:

The curse of Monty Python was with me for a long time. We learned to be funny, we learned to work in skits, and it took a while to actually start to develop confidence to do what I wanted to do, and not do [it] the way we made Python. Monty Python was wonderful, it was fantastic. But it was also limited in the way we looked at the world. It was always satirical, it was never romantic or tragic, it was never those. Eventually I started making movies that were probably what I feel about the world as opposed to only being comic about the world.

We were very lucky with Monty Python, it was a specific time in the U.K., when the BBC was very laissez-faire. If they said, "Go and do something", you were able to do it. They gave us six-seven shows, and they worked. So they gave us more, and we developed our skills, our confidence and also our fanbase, the public. So we were successful. And we were incredibly lucky to have very wealthy, successful pop stars financing our movies. Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Pink Floyd, eventually George Harrison. So it was a very privileged position to then do exactly what we wanted to do, and surprise, surprise, the films were successful. And because I co-directed "Holy Grail" with Terry Jones, my name was on the screen saying "Directed by". That's the only thing you have to do, to get your name on the screen saying "directed by", and you're a film director!

Then I had to learn to direct films after that, and eventually I learnt [that] and realized I was better than the rest of the group. I got rid of them, they were holding me back, they were destroying me!

Terry Gilliam on drawing and animating:

The only time I draw now is birthday cards for my family and anniversary cards for my wife. And sometimes the Christmas card. If I continue on this downward path of lower and lower budget films, eventually I may have to go back to graphical illustration!

Terry Gilliam on his jinxed dream project "Don Quixote":

When I make a film, it's like we go into the ocean, and the storm's crashing, and everything breaks. And then, when we finish it, we go back into the little harbour, and we think about making Don Quixote again. Sometimes the boat goes out, and sometimes it sinks, and sometimes it might go forward, and we can get into the storm with the Don Quixote boat. But not yet. I think it's been six [of these "storms" to date]. Maybe seven.

Terry Gilliam on his cameo in the upcoming "Jupiter Ascending":

The Wachowski siblings asked me if I would play a part, because there's a scene that's sort of an homage to "Brazil", so they needed a bureaucrat, and I get to play [one]. And I get to work with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, and I do all the talking. And I thought it would be interesting to be a part of a film that has a budget bigger than 150 billion dollars!

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