Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus will be playing out of competition at Cannes, but the film’s sales rep is trying to negotiate a distribution sale this week, well before the festival starts. Foreign territories have been sold, but there’s not yet a domestic deal in place. THR speculates that a deal could actually come through this week, and that’s with the asking price going high for a weird film from a perpetually non-commercial director. The trade reports the goal is “a studio-level deal with
studio-level prices”.

This is interesting, because at the end of last week Harry at AICN gave the film a big sloppy blowjob. “15 minutes in, my mind was blown! Those two paragraphs have a lot of
detail crammed in, and do not touch the beauty of what was beyond that
split mirror. It was simply breathtaking. However, I still had no idea
what I was in for…I can honestly say you have NEVER SEEN ANYTHING
LIKE what is on the other side of Parnassus’ mirror.”

To my knowledge, that’s the only review to appear online. It’s not exactly a critical take, and since the film is a tough sell — it’s got a kooky script and unusual casting strategy, even with the hook of ‘Heath Ledger’s last movie!’ — it’s hard not to see the AICN review as an angle to elevate the film’s profile and help push a sale. It’s a silly ploy if so.

At this point I don’t even care about the degree to which Harry may or may not be complicit in selling the film rather than reviewing it. But if that’s the angle, why Harry? Aren’t there other, bigger publications that could see the film and do an ethusiastic feature on Gilliam’s magic with Ledger’s final work? Cynically, this makes me wonder if the film is any good at all. But selfishly, I want to see the movie regardless, so in this case I hope the tactic works.