Terry Gilliam‘s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has the unfortunate distinction of forever being labeled as Heath Ledger‘s final film. Today we bring you a brand new clip from the film that debuted during the Cannes film festival.
Imaginarium stars Christopher Plummer as the 1,000-year-old titular doctor. He leads a travelling theatre troupe that includes his daughter (Lily Cole), a dwarf (Verne Troyer) and a mysterious outsider named Tony (Ledger). Parnassus has in his possession a magical mirror that leads people into a world beyond reality, thanks to a deal with The Devil (Tom Waits, of course). However, when The Devil comes to collect his payment in the form of Parnassus’ daughter, the troupe must venture through the mirror to save her.
This clip comes from early in the film, in which Tony entices audience members into the mirror.
Ledger died before principle photography could be completed, almost causing the project to be dropped completely. However, Gilliam brought Jude Law , Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp onboard to play the ‘mirror, alternate-reality’ versions of Tony, salvaging the film.
Sadly, the picture’s debut at the Cannes film festival was not met with complete adulation. Although Ledger’s brief performance is praised, the film has been described as “madly self-indulgent“, “head-scratching“, “marred by shoddy special effects and half-formed fantastical conceits“, and full of “clumsy dialogue, poor plotting and some downright terrible performances.“
Regardless, it’s hard not to be drawn in by the above clip. And Gilliam’s films, love them or hate them, are at the very least always worth seeing.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus does not yet have an Australian release date.
Discuss: What did you think of the above clip?