'Twas The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Terry Gilliam's self-indulgent, incomprehensible frolic through special effects and lame imagery.
I begrudge no one his taste -- if you wanted to sit through it, if you found some meaning -- even tiny meaning -- then bless you.
I found no merit.
But that didn't make it the painful experience that it became.
That occurred when I was trapped. Unable to walk out, as I was the driver on a dreaded double-date.
I would have left one couple behind to fend for itself; it's a dog-eat-dog world, and survival is key.
But the other couple included my girlfriend's very nice, very kewl, very cinematically-misguided [at least in this case] daughter.
I couldn't bolt.
And I also couldn't sleep. It was in a historic [read: ancient] urban theater designed for men 5' 8" tall, weighing 174 lbs. at the top end. I was, as I say, doomed.
Just call me Alex, and let me tell you about the Ludovico Technique. . . .
click any image to enlargeI thought I could wash away the pain with a visit to The Ghost Writer, Roman Polanski's taut little thriller. It cam e highly recommended, and I would frankly have sat through Polanski's rape trial rather than sit through Imaginarium again. But I digress.
I felt like I was watching a Hitchcock movie; the reviewers had it dead right.
I don't like Hitchcock movies. I respect the shit outta the things, but they don't get me hard.
The artificial, staged, isolated vibe that permeates every Hitchcock flick I've ever seen [you know, isolation even in a crowd scene] hung over the movie from the first word. It was stagey and claustrophobic, but not engaging. So I gotta give it a Thums Down.
James Belushi was the best thing in the movie. I kid you not.
But I urge you to memorize the theaters still playing The Ghost Writer. And I urge you to buy a copy.
You never know when someone might suggest you see or rent The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. . . . .