Three Madcap 'Zero Theorem' Featurettes Enter Terry Gilliam's Mind

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:28 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Three Madcap 'Zero Theorem' Featurettes Enter Terry Gilliam's Mind

The Zero Theorem looks absolutely over-the-top bonkers in a way that only Terry Gilliam could manage, juggling madcap comedy, surreal imagery, and a serious satirical point of view.

A trio of revealing featurettes duck behind the scenes of the strange new film, showing how so singular a product results from a whole lot of inventive professionals like Christoph Waltz bringing the bizarre to Gilliam's next.

The member of Monty Python's Flying Circus has done a dystopia before, and the result was Brazil, a straight-up classic and almost inarguably Gilliam's best movie.  So it's thrilling that The Zero Theorem is a spiritual successor to Brazil, with Gilliam once again projecting a strange, strange future to comment on the present.

This future is one of information overload and omnipresent advertising, a world of constant streaming data in which worshipers pray to Batman the Redeemer and a ubiquitous corporation called Mancom collects info on everything everywhere.  One Mancom employee by the name of Qohen Leth, an existentially tortured computer genius attempting to figure out the meaning of life, if it's even out there.

With The Zero Theorem hitting U.K. cinemas next month, this crop of quick featurettes have emerged:

Waltz carries the film as Qohen Leth, but the cast also includes Melanie Thierry, David Thewlis, Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, Lucas Hedges, and even Matt Damon in a small Mancom-related role.

Just last week, Gilliam revealed that he intends to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote his next film.  If that actually finally comes to pass, it will mark the end of a quest the director has been on for more than two decades.  Fingers crossed.

And if these The Zero Theorem featurettes left you confounded, then you might want to check out Gilliam's explanation from last summer, when he said, "In a strange way, this film deals with several aspects of that modern world. I’m obsessed with this challenge of being alone. How do you know who you are when now, nobody lives for the moment? They are all commenting about the moment — tweeting, on Facebook. We’re here, having dinner, and here’s a picture of the dinner, look at this! Rather than being there, enjoying the meal and talking to the people who are there. It might sound schizophrenic, but I feel there is a scattering of our lives."

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