While Terry Gilliam has struggled to get a new feature film mounted since 2009’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” that’s hardly stopped the ever busy director. Last year he directed a webcast for Arcade Fire, and this year he launched his excellent stage show of “The Damnation Of Faust” and sandwiched in between, he shot the short film “The Wholly Family.”
The film is being sponsored by pasta company Garofalo as part of an annual series of films about Naples, and while details of what it’s about have been kept under wraps, the project does have an original script by Gilliam and is not based off the Eve Merriam poem of the same name. The project stars Cristiana Capotondi, Douglas Dean, Nicolas Connolly and Sergio Solli and was shot on location in Italy but this just isn’t some travelogue/pasta ad. A trailer for the film — which you can view below — quietly hit the web a couple of weeks ago and it looks like something conjured up Frederico Fellini. And if you’re scared of clowns, this thing will give you nightmares. But it definitely looks very much in Gilliam’s playful, fairy tale inspired vein. You can also check out a longer behind-the-scenes video over at the official website.
No word on when the short will finally land — if you’re in Italy you can watch it on the Garofalo website — but hopefully it will arrive soon. Anyway, check out the roughly Google translated synopsis and trailer below.
A busy street in central Naples is full of shops selling nativity scenes.
A wealthy American couple and a child of 10 years trying to make his way through the crowd.
Husband and wife argue over which way to go. The Kid being dragged unwillingly.
The child lags behind, attracted by the carved figures. Figure of Pulcinella … sacred images, cribs, horns …
Little Jack stops at a stall, hooked on all these extraordinary figures. He touches recklessly and spitefully, behaving like a true rude brat.
While husband and wife discuss animatedly realize that the child is no longer there. They began a desperate search blaming each other for the incident. But the baby is not …
So begins “The Wholly Family,” a dreamlike journey between reality and imagination through the most hidden and symbols of a Naples that the director knows how to read and decode the most of its contradictions.