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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ONE LAST TIME ON THE BIG SCREEN - AS HEATH LEDGER LEFT THIS MORTAL LIFE TO BE IMMORTAL


Japanese poster of
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Tribute to Heath Ledger

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

2009

This is the final new film that we will get to see Heath in. And he only finished part of the shoot before the tragic night he passed away while trying to get some sleep. Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell share the part of Tony with Heath, which was only done after Heath passed away.

This is the very first film of Heath's that I will ever see on the big screen, as I discovered his work months after he left this mortal life to be immortal.

Below I post two lovely fans' videos paying tribute to Heath and this film.

The film opened in New York City, Los Angeles, Canada and Scandinavia Christmas Day and will open in selected cities nationwide January 8th. It is not showing in the big cinema complexes. But a lot of lesser movies are. What a shame we can't have this film more accessible to the masses.

I have to drive 45 miles to see it in Providence, Rhode Island at the Avon Cinema

But I am grateful that I can see it in my state.

It is already difficult to imagine sitting in the dark theatre for the first time to see Heath in his final performance. So many things will be going through my mind...the story of the film, the story of Heath's emotions while shooting the movie, the sadness that comes from the bond I have developed through watching him in many of his movies on dvd since learning of his talent after he died. And all the wonderful youtube videos of his interviews and premieres.

So long Heath on the big screen. The world of creativity and heart will miss you.



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Uploaded by catiamancini

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Heath Ledger Wizard
Uploaded by jopicca

There is a wonderful website set up to support the release of this film wider than Sony Classics Pictures has plans to do. There is endless information there www.imaginariumofdrparnassus.com

Here is one of many reviews found there:

Source: SciFi Wire

Does Dr. Parnassus honor the late Heath Ledger?

I got to the screening of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus early and had time to grab a drink at a nearby bar. Three, actually. Scotches. I think that was the best possible way to watch Terry Gilliam’s trippy movie. Regardless of alcohol, I have no idea what it was about, but it was fascinating and wonderful.

A traveling street show performs for the locals on a set that evokes Gilliam’s animation style. It’s already a weird contraption, this full-scale sort of pop-up book of a stage, only it’s even weirder to see it out on the city streets. This stage sucks viewers into the mirror, where they go into a CGI world of imagination. Whether CG or real, it’s all magical and all Gilliam.

Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) and his troupe rescue Tony (Heath Ledger), who is hanging from a bridge, and add him to their act. It seems Dr. P owes a mysterious Mr. Nick (Tom Waits) five souls, which he collects through his Imaginarium show. Now Tony’s taking patrons through the mirror, and on the other side he appears as different actors (Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell).

The idea of different actors taking over Ledger’s role is the least weird part of all this. If there’s a fantasy world, then of course he can appear as a different person in there. It is a seamless transition once Tony steps into the Imaginarium. None of this makes sense anyway, so just go with it. Really, who wouldn’t want to see Depp, Law and Farrell play Heath Ledger? Frankly, I’m impressed that they completed all of Ledger’s “real world” scenes, so at least he’s always Heath there. I didn’t know how much he’d completed before his passing.

Don’t try to understand it. Just look at it. The visuals are so busy you’ll have to pay attention to absorb everything. I have no idea who Dr. Parnassus is or what he wants. I’m sure it’s in there, but only in that buried-metaphor kind of way. What is this relationship with the strange guy they saved from hanging? Who cares? The images inside the Imaginarium are so bizarre it’s just worth experiencing. You’ve got cops dancing on a large tongue, 2-D cutouts spinning and interacting and gritty landscapes cluttered with debris.

Ledger is captivating when he appears. He gives another full-bodied, physical performance. Tony is an unknown, so there’s no baggage or expectations. His actions, his movements, that’s all what Ledger decided he’d be. His successors do a fine job carrying it. You do get to see a whole performance, and that’s worth a lot for the film, too.

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The way Terry Gilliam describes his film:

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present-day. It tells the story of Dr. Parnassus and his extraordinary 'Imaginarium', a traveling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom.

Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Doctor Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. An inveterate gambler, thousands of years ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr. Nick, in which he won immortality. 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 daughter reached her 16th birthday, she would become the property of Mr Nick.

Valentina 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.

Directed by Terry Gilliam
122 Minutes
Rated PG-13

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Also, there is a lovely forum to meet other Heathens: Heath Ledger Planet

Light a Candle for Heath

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