We’ll post a review of "The Brothers Grimm" tomorrow, hopefully, but for now let’s just say that we found it a crushing disappointment. It seems that, unless "The Libertine" has more going for it than Johnny Depp making out with a man, the Miramax that Harvey built is going out, not with a bang, but a whimper. A whimper of agonizing mediocrity.
This by no means alleviates the furious movie-crush we have on Terry Gilliam, and by the looks of things, we’re not alone in feeling that way, as every paper in town trots out a lengthy interview with the man. Some choice excerpts:
With Hugh Hart in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"I was actually running away from it because I didn’t like the [original ‘Brothers Grimm’] script," he says. "The premise was good. What was missing, I felt, was a real sense of fairy tale-ness. I felt, ‘Well, it’s kind of like "The Mummy," and that level of adventure I’m not interested in.’"
Gilliam interrupts himself to lunge for a cup of espresso, which he hails as "the lifeblood!"
With Lynda Gorov at the Boston Globe:
”[‘Tideland’] was more fun," Gilliam said. ”You don’t have time to double think. You don’t have to argue your point with people. I get tired of that. Especially with Hollywood, they have to be constantly reassured. They want to talk about stuff. But talking isn’t what it’s about. You have to go and make it. You find it when you’re doing it…
”Of course, in a pinch I can babble away with the best of them and sound quite convincing."
With Larry Carroll at MTV:
"It’s interesting; I mean, ‘Brothers Grimm’ is kind of like ‘Time Bandits’ again for me in a way. I got to create a lot of different worlds in ‘Time Bandits,’ and in this one, I create one world, but I have more time to do it in-depth."
With Stephen B. Hunt at the Globe and Mail:
"I’m a bit obsessive about getting a frame that’s got so much stuff in it," Gilliam said. (Matt Damon tells a story about what it’s like to act in a Terry Gilliam film, courtesy of Jonathan Pryce. It was the first day shooting "Brazil," back in 1984, and Pryce, a stage-trained English actor, completed his scene. "Jonathan, can I have a word?," Gilliam asked. "I thought that [scene] went rather well," Pryce said, at which point Gilliam said, "Jonathan, you see that set back there?" Pryce turned to see the "Brazil" set, a Salvador Dali-esque design of tubes, wires and wackiness. "You’re competing with that," Gilliam said, "and you’re losing.")
With Logan Hill in New York:
For "Fisher King", I started thinking in those terms: a nice steel-and-glass photogenic place with no soul, but full of life and jest and joy and beauty and color…I put a line in the movie when Jeffreyâ€™s hanging off the buildingâ€”he says, "Nobody ever looks up in New York." Architects do the ground floor with a lot of elaboration, then nothing till they get to the top, then they have the crown: Itâ€™s like theyâ€™re showing off to God. We deserve to see that, too.
With Neil Norman in the Times of London on taking time out to make "Tideland" and coming back to "Grimm":
"I had to let the air clear. Somehow, the film Bob Weinstein had in his head wasn’t the film we made. All films are like this. You reach a point at the end when everyone is going crazy and starts talking about this ‘one’ thing that, if we can get it, will make everything right. It’s bullshit. But, after making ‘Tideland,’ I came back for a few changes. Ironically, we ended up cutting out the most expensive scene in the movie. I didn’t want to do it â€” but we did, and I have to admit it is better for it."
Enough? The LA Times has also got some Gilliam, with Susan King looking into "Grimm"’s crazy credits and the fact that, if you haven’t already figured it out from any of the above interviews, Gilliam does not care for Hollywood.
Elsewhere, Jeff Otto at Film Force interviews Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, while CHUD‘s George Merchan interviews Monica Bellucci. And Mary Beth Ellis at MSNBC wonders if even gloomy Gilliam can live up to the darkness that is the immensely satisfying original fairytales:
The evil stepsisters of Cinderella, for example, hacked off toes and heels so that they might fit the heroineâ€™s magic slipper. Which I have considered while struggling into a particularly fine pair of rhinestone stilettos, but I imagine that large trails of blood issuing from the bridal party tend to make for less than optimal dance floor conditions. I would like to hear the Celine Dion soundtrack single for this moment.
+ ‘GRIMM’ REAPER (SF Chronicle)
+ Gilliam’s island (Boston Globe)
+ ‘Brothers Grimm’ Director Gilliam Is Hollywood’s Biggest Dreamer â€” And Enemy (MTV)
+ Gilliam’s dry spell is done (Globe and Mail)
+ Influences: Terry Gilliam (New York)
+ Grimm enough? (Times of London)
+ Gilliam takes a long view of credits for ‘Grimm’ (LA Times)
+ Interview: Matt Damon and Heath Ledger (Film Force)
+ INTERVIEW: MONICA BELLUCCI (CHUD)
+ A Grimm look at fairy tales (MSNBC)