On Saturday night, I went to see Berlioz’ The Damnation of Faust at the English National Opera Coliseum, as directed by Terry Gilliam. It was, in the simplest terms, genuinely pulse-whipping, breathtaking stuff, and despite the relative expense, I’m taking myself back and getting the best seat I can. I just have to see it again.
I’ll publish more on that soon – but in the meantime, book yourself a ticket and go. Really.
Gilliam has taken part in a small handful of interviews to promote Faust, the best of them with the “Online Fanzine”, Dreams. As well as discussing the opera itself, he also chatted about his new short film The Wholly Family, and what might be coming up next for him as he returns to directing feature films:
We’re still battling away at [The Man Who Killed Don] Quixote. In the next few weeks, we might get a better idea of what our chances are of raising it. At the same time I’m just dredging up an old script – the one Richard LaGravenese and I wrote years ago after The Fisher King – The Defective Detective. And we are just snooping around to see if there is any way we can move that one forward…
…I’ve got another script I’ve been reading, because I just know I’ve got to get moving. It’s April now and if we’re going to do anything this year with Quixote, money has to materialise very quickly.
A few ideas and images from The Defective Detective made their way into The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and even Tideland. I imagine that this will contribute to a new, page one rewrite of the script becoming necessary.
A very short pitch for The Defective Detective might go something like this:
A detective looking for a missing little girl starts to believe the clues are leading him to an amazing, impossible solution: she’s vanished into a strange fantasy land that’s told of in storybooks. And he’s probably right… and he’ll probably have to go in there too, if he’s going to help her.
The drafts of the screenplay that I read were full of huge ideas carved from colossal ambition and the kind of gargantuan imagery that nobody has ever done better than Gilliam. At the same time, the real-world detective element would be a new departure for him. I think it’s especially exciting to think that, finally, we might get our chance to see this story be brought to life.
I’ll be keeping an ear close to the ground for movement on Quixote and Detective, and should any hints arise as to what this other mysterious script is, I’ll get digging there too.