The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

L'imaginarium Du Docteur Parnassus

DVD - 2010
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"Set in the present day, director Terry Gilliam's fantastical morality tale follows the traveling show of the mysterious Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) -- a man who once won a bet with the Devil himself, and possesses the unique ability to guide the imagination of others"--from
Publisher: [Toronto] : Distributed in Canada by E1 Entertainment, c2010.
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC Imagi resdvd 33164004257411 dvd 33.00 dvdfic 274173 cpy 1 aurora
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (ca. 122 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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Dec 06, 2019

I saw this once before and didn't quite understand it, so my opinion was on the high side of neutral; a second viewing revealed much of the subtext that makes it far more coherent than it initially appears. Movies about the power of imagination and storytelling are right up my alley, and this one is loaded with powerful metaphors which need to be pondered upon before they reveal their meaning. I enjoyed this new viewing tremendously, and expect to like this movie more every time I see it throughout the future.

Jul 19, 2017

Really liked this film. It almost seemed Oz-ish in a fashion

May 23, 2017

This is a wild and fable-like hallucinatory film that has numerous shifts in pacing and innumerable plot shifts and story-in-story-in-story... developments. Highly enjoyable!

ArapahoeTiegan Dec 15, 2016

I thought this movie was very beautifully done. It was very creative to use different actors for Heath Ledger's character as he had passed away before filming was completed. The was it was done was very respectful and very imaginative - it added quite a lot of intrigue to the character, too!

Jan 08, 2016


Dec 27, 2014

Love him or hate him, Terry Gilliam never leaves you feeling neutral. This time he focuses his fervent imagination on the story of Dr. Parnassus; immortal, one-time mystic and now the owner of a ramshackle sideshow, “The Imaginarium” which sticks out like an anachronistic sore thumb wherever it sets up shop. All who pass through its enchanted mirror (actually two sheets of metallic plastic and a cheap gilded frame) come face to face with their deepest desires; or worst either emerge transformed, or not at all. It seems the mysterious doctor is fond of wagering bets with the Devil; a few souls won here, a few lost there, and not even Parnassus’ daughter, Valentina, is above being used as collateral. But when it comes time to collect his winnings Satan finds the playing board has become a tad more complicated than he had anticipated with the arrival of a certain wild card... In the same vein as The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, Gilliam explores the role of myth and dreams in shaping our subconscious. “The universe is sustained by stories...” states Parnassus at one point; but stories always contain a certain amount of ambivalence and the old caveat, “Be Careful What You Wish For”, rings true time and again. Despite some long-winded passages which tested my patience, the trips through the looking glass, when they came, combined some fantastic effects with the kaleidoscopic charm of an old pop-up book. It could have benefited from some editing to keep the pace going but the impressive cast gave some wonderful performances and the Vancouver sights were fun to watch. Not enough to keep you rapt for two hours, but if you’re a fan of Gilliam (as I am) you pretty much know what to expect.

Sep 18, 2014

Not to be confused with "Mr. Mogorium's Wonder Emporium." Terry Gilliam was one of the first directors I liked when I got into movies, but his work has been pretty disappointing over the past decade ("Brothers Grimm," "Tideland"), although I am anticipating "Zero Theorem." Like Tim Burton, he's much more of a visual stylist than a storyteller and too often the look of his films outweighs the story. "Imaginarium" is notable for being Heath Ledger's final film (he died during the shooting) and for being a return to the fantasy realms of "Time Bandits" and "Baron Munchausen." There are some stunning visuals, per usual, and a great cast, headed by Christopher Plummer. The plot, involving a Faustian deal with the devil (a sly Tom Waits), some kind of magic door, and gangsters doesn't make a lot of sense, but if you're a Gilliam fan, you won't mind. Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law were brought in to fill Ledger's role and it works. Andrew Garfield, the alien looking model Lily Cole, and mini-me Verne Troyer co-star. Worth it just for the set design and fantasy worlds, which shows just how influential Gilliam's aesthetic has been in huge mainstream films like "Alice in Wonderland," "Jack the Giant Slayer," and "Oz, the Great and Powerful."

Sep 12, 2014

Bravo! This is a brilliant film that is extraordinary in every way.

If you don't need your art spoon-fed to you like a little baby, I highly recommend this gem.

hania4987 May 07, 2013

the cinematography is extraordinary ... the imaginarium is full of Dali-esque landscapes come to life

Jan 07, 2013

I couldn’t wait for this movie to end and then wanted those long, long 123 minutes back. There seemed to be potential in the first 15 or so minutes but then, before there was any opportunity to connect with any of the characters, the momentum was completely lost and the movie turned into a string of nonsensical, silly antics and character interactions I couldn’t have cared less about for what seemed like a very long time. Basically, if you don’t appreciate Monty Python type humor/styling you will not like this movie--and even then it's questionable. The basic premise has potential as a basis for a different, more serious, movie to be made by someone else someday and some of the visuals were clever but, this movie is so laced with silliness (in true Monty Python form) that it is mostly just annoying. I don’t know why kids would like it and I don’t think adults would care so I wonder who the intended audience is (other than Terry Gilliam)? A pointless, confusing, thoroughly unsatisfying mess not worth wasting time to figure out or watch.

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