The Guardian has Dave Eggers interviewing Eric Idle and reminding us why we are often overwhelmed with the urge to punch him (Eggers) in the face ("Idle looked at the chair, but on that day the chair offered no answers."). The interview is on the occasion of the musical "Spamalot"‘s London stage debut, and does have its moments:
Idle had just finished giving a tour of his home, a sort of museum of Python paraphernalia. His basement is full of Python-themed toys, including various Holy Grail figurines and a Black Knight with removable limbs. There were Monty Python records and books and an action figure of Mr Creosote, the blowsy gourmand who explodes in The Meaning of Life after ingesting one simple mint, wafer-thin. The only problem with the toy Creosote is that the vomit it expels is green and viscous, whereas it is commonly known that in the movie Creosote’s vomit is peach-coloured and has the consistency of watery paste.
"That, uh, hadn’t occurred to me," Idle said, politely. "But look at this." He pointed to a facsimile of King Arthur’s chain-mail crown apparatus, resting on a candelabra in his foyer. "It’s far more elaborate than the one we used in the film. We used tin, or some light metal. People, you know, are insane."
Another goody â€” Idle wrote a screenplay for a "yet-to-be-produced parody of a Merchant-Ivory film, The Remains of the Piano."
The LA Times has launched a new column written by Jay A. Fernandez that will cover screenwriting. This inaugural edition includes a frustrating screenplay semi-review, which is normally a giant no (and grossly unfair to an unfinished film), except in this case the screenplay in question is the one for Charlie Kaufman‘s directorial debut, "Synecdoche." Fernandez doesn’t do more than drop a few tantalizing details:
"Synecdoche" nominally concerns a theater director who thinks he’s dying, and how that shapes his interactions with the world, his art and the women in his life. But it is really a wrenching, searching, metaphysical epic that somehow manages to be universal in an extremely personal way. It’s about death and sex and the vomit-, poop-, urine- and blood-smeared mess that life becomes physiologically, emotionally and spiritually (Page 1 features a 4-year-old girl having her butt wiped). It reliably contains Kaufman’s wondrous visual inventions, complicated characters, idiosyncratic conversations and delightful plot designs, but its collective impact will kick the wind out of you.
The film’s not due to start shooting until next summer.