SPOTLIGHT FILMS: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

By Contributor
May 13th, 2010

A fantastical morality tale, spiced with a little intentional cheesiness, set in the present day tells the story of Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) 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. Get ready to experience Doctor Parnassus’ unique imagination in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” coming to the Gem Theatre on May 18 with Spotlight Films.

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 (Tom Waits), 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 (Lily Cole) is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr. Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr. Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls.

Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr. Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr. Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all.

“The Imaginarium…” is written and directed by Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python fame, and co-written by Charles McKeown.

The production of this film was temporarily suspended after the death of Heath Ledger, who played the character of Tony, 1/3 of the way through. Ledger’s role was re-cast with Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, following Tony’s transformations.

If there is a touch of deja vue it may be because this film draws a little on “The 7 faces of Dr. Lao”, and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Please note that Spotlight will be presenting “The Imaginarium…” on May 18, and not on the usual last Tuesday of the month. It will be shown at the Gem Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Spotlight Film members would like to thank their sponsors whose support is vital in bringing these films to Grand Forks. They would also like to thank their patrons for their continued support and input.

Categories: Arts and Culture