This week I watched a couple of Terry Gilliam films, I've never really seen anything by him but I've been told many times that I would like his films so I watched 'The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen' and 'The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus'.
I've always been a big fan of adventure films, especially anything quite surreal or unusual, I really love the idea of fantasy worlds and the escapism that goes along with this so I really loved Baron Munchhausen, you can really see how vast Gilliam's imagination is when you see the extent of detail in the different locations of the film. I thought the sets were amazing, in particular the theatre scenery in the opening scenes which was made up of a series of flat sections that folded in and out to create movement and the suggestion of perspective etc. I also loved the scenes on the moon which were also made up of flat scenery which moved sideways and forwards to create a city. It was really refreshing to see a film with so many impossible looking scenes being made without the use of CGI and it made me feel that a lot more is possible for me to create within my work by hand. I really like the idea of constructing sets that move in quite a simple way but the mechanics of the movements would also be beautiful enough to be visible; this is something I'd love to try in an animation or film.
Dr. Parnassus was also a really wonderful film, I didn't like some aspects of the animation in the imaginarium scenes but it would obviously make sense to use more current technology but I still prefer more traditional animation methods. I thought the combination of modern day with the old-fashioned set worked perfectly and the transformation to a modern set was really beautiful. Again there were some fantastic sets and costumes which were really inspiring.
I was impressed with both films as although they are quite weird and strange they never became silly and everything seemed necessary to the story which I really admired, I would imagine that making such unusual films could lead to adding in crazy characters and scenarios just for the sake of being weird but this didn't seem to happen.