The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus @ Nike Cinema Tuesday’s

Posted on 16 December 2009

By Carey Steinberg

The Montalbán theater in Hollywood, California proudly presented another great movie premiere as part of their Cinema Tuesdays on the evening of December 8th, 2009. This time Nike, Flux, and Australians in Film presented a wonderful holiday treat for special guests called, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.” The special guests and press who were able to get into this crowded, holiday blockbuster were quite lucky because this film does not debut in national theaters until Christmas day.

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” is a unique fantasy film written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Terry Gilliam directed and wrote some other highly acclaimed films including “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Brazil,” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” This film also serves as the final film for the late, brilliant actor, Heath Ledger. Gilliam selected an amazing cast of other talented actors such as Johnny Depp, Christopher Plummer, Jude Law, Lily Cole, Colin Farrell, and Tom Waits. With such a hot cast, interesting plot, and amazing visual effects, Terry Gilliam has once again created such an innovative film for everyone to see during this holiday season.

Christopher Plummer stars as Doctor Parnassus, the powerful imagination guide who leads the theatrical troupe throughout modern day London, but unfortunately appears to have an alcohol and gambling problem, which seems to hinder his special powers. Doctor Parnassus loves to drink booze and gamble and makes several bets with the devil. Long ago during his thousand year old life, he won a bet with the devil played by Tom Waits to have immortality. Later in his long life, Doctor Parnassus becomes unhappy with immortality and trades his immortality for youth to win the heart of a woman. In exchange for his new youth, Doctor Parnassus promises to gamble away his future daughter to become property of the devil on her 16th birthday. The beautiful Lily Cole plays Valentina, who is the doctor’s daughter. Valentina is unaware of this bet, however the alcoholic, gambling doctor tries to tell her this horrible gamble of her life numerous times but cannot. Then, Doctor Parnassus and the devil, also known as Mr. Nick, battle to win the souls of five unlucky people to win the bet for the property of Valentina.

The film is quite original during a time in the film industry where movies continue to become remade from twenty to thirty years ago. Leave it up to Terry Gilliam to write/direct such a unique film, and guide this astonishing cast to their top-notch acting abilities. Doctor Parnassus and his theater troupe are played by Verne Troyer as Percy who is the Dr’s humorous sidekick, Andrew Garfield as Anton, of course the angelic Lily Cole as his daughter, and the late Heath Ledger as Tony. The troupe finds Tony hanging almost dead under a bridge, which seems eerie due to the current circumstances. They save his life, but Tony suffers from amnesia. He decides to help the troupe and become one of the theatrical members. If you are a Heath Ledger fan, you do not want to miss this wonderful film.

The visual effects in this film are amazing. During the troupe’s shows, Doctor Parnassus transcends into a meditative state where he guides the audience’s imaginations. An audience member of the imaginarium will walk through a mirror and visit their most imaginative place. Depending on the person, Doctor Parnassus will lead them into a magical or frightening place.

This film was a delight to review and other guests appeared to be privileged to sneak the advanced screening of “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.” The guests were dressed quite fancy for the holiday festive theme. The Montalbán theater generously served popcorn, Redbulls, Izze Sparkling Juices, warm coffee drinks, and Tim Tam cookies. Another guest informed me that these were Australian fine cookies and tasted great dunked into hot coffee. We both then ran to the coffee line to snack on such a delightful combo! In addition to these fine Australian snacks, this Cinema Tuesday event served as a benefit for the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship in honor of the late actor. Following the film, the Montalbán theater served Belvedere Vodka and Coopers brewery
drinks in a Imaginarium-style decorated bar and guests danced the evening away to DJ Mark Rae and Christian. According to this critic, the evening was a success and one of the best Cinema Tuesdays of the year. Take your family and friends to “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” this Christmas for a incredible chance to let your imagination run wild.

CINEMA TUESDAYS is a monthly screening series featuring innovative motion pictures and unique live events. From exclusive film premieres, stylish action films and inventive comedies to inspiring tales of urban sport and art, each event will be a fresh, not-to-be-missed experience, be it a sneak peek of an anticipated studio release, Nike-commissioned short films, a celebrated film from international festivals or the return of a seminal classic. Live filmmaker presentations, musical performances and thematic elements are only some of the surprises lined up for an unforgettable evening. CINEMA TUESDAYS takes place at Nike Sportswear at The Montalbán, Nike Sportswear’s unique retail and special events theatre in Hollywood.
Programming for CINEMA TUESDAYS is curated by Flux, a global creative community that celebrates film, art, music, design and culture. Flux is renowned for their acclaimed festivals, film events and quarterly screening series at UCLA’s Hammer Museum.
For more information, visit the concierge desk at Nike Sportswear at The Montalbán, or
Nike Sportswear at The Montalbán
1615 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028

Categorized | Art & Culture

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