Director Terry Gilliam onstage at Cinematheque Ontario following a screening of his classic film Brazil.
The former member of Monty Python was pleased when one member of the audience asked about the difficulty getting the film made. Gilliam delighted in retelling the (in)famous struggle in which he took an ad in Variety asking a studio executive when exactly Brazil would be released. Eventually, after Gilliam began screening the film personally and critics suggested it could be eligible for Academy Awards, Universal Studios gave in and released Gilliam’s original cut of the film.
Gilliam spoke briefly about other projects that had come his way: he passed on Braveheart, never seriously considered directing a Harry Potter film (contrary to rumour), and his Don Quixote project with Jonny Depp could be revived thanks in part to the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
When asked why he doesn’t agree to direct more of the scripts that he’s offered, Gilliam joked, “What? Do you think I should have done Mr. & Mrs. Smith?”
The director speaks again on Monday at the Isabel Bader Theatre, after a screening of his latest film, Tideland. For more information, go to the Cinematheque website.