The Fabulous Picture Show
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
A visually mind-blowing and emotionally solid film by Terry Gilliam.
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2009 15:16 GMT

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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is classic Terry Gilliam. Visually mind-blowing, but with a solid emotional core, it is also a tribute of sorts to the late, great Heath Ledger, whose untimely departure during its filming shocked fans and cineastes worldwide.

Gilliam ingeniously blends Ledger's work with contributions from Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell in a way that cannot be revealed, but that is guaranteed to surprise.  

Amanda Palmer and Terry Gilliam

Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) presides over a traveling show called "The Imaginarium", offering the public an opportunity to enter a 3-D universe of their own imaginations. 

But Parnassus harbours a dark secret. Thousands of years ago he made a bet with the devil (Tom Waits) in which he won immortality.

Centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his daughter (Lily Cole) reached her 16th birthday, she would become the devil's property. 

Now, unless he can somehow save her, it is time to pay the price.

Terry Gilliam, former Python and director of such cinematic gems as Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Monty Python And The Holy Grail, joins Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera's head of entertainment, and the FPS audience for a funny and revealing Q&A about this much-anticipated new film.

The Music of Avatar

Avatar is James Cameron's first feature film since Titanic
More than a decade ago, James Cameron's Titanic, the most successful film ever, spawned a soundtrack that sold some 30 million copies. 

And now, Cameron is back with Avatar, his first feature since Titanic - and he has got Titanic composer James Horner back in his corner. 

So will Avatar feature another smash hit like My Heart Will Go On? Will this extraterrestrial adventure once again have a Celtic lilt? And how did Horner manage to get his work done on a film that was still being finalised as its opening fast approached? 

Horner speaks to FPS about Avatar, and his long-term collaboration with cinema's self-declared "King of the World".

The Wind Journeys

This year at Cannes, a little, unheralded film from Colombia with a gentle storyline and no big stars was met with a boisterous standing ovation.

The Wind Journey's - Ciro Guerra, Marciano Martinez and Yull Nunez
It is about an aging accordion player, played by real-life performer Marciano Martínez, who has lived his life like a dissolute rock star, and now plans to journey cross-country to return his accordion, said to be cursed by the devil, to his mentor.

Ciro Guerra's The Wind Journeys follows the quest of this juglar, or traveling musician, accompanied by a young protégé, played by Yull Núñez, as they play and struggle their way across the beautiful and challenging landscapes and subcultures of a Colombia rarely seen on film. 

It is told with an ear for the great vallenato music of the region, and an eye for surprising and captivating imagery.

Guerra, Martínez and Núñez speak to FPS about this truly unique and hugely entertaining new film.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Thursday, December 17, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0600, 1630; Friday: 0130, 0830; Saturday: 1130, 2330; Sunday: 0630, 2030; Monday: 1430; Tuesday: 1930; Wednesday: 0300.

Al Jazeera
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