I scarfed up Peter Biskind’s Vanity Fair cover story on Heath Ledger (which is finally online). It all makes (tragic) sense. Ledger was yet another gifted performer (from Judy Garland on) who was far happier in the zone in front of the camera than anywhere else. He pushed himself too hard. And he sought comfort (and sleep) from drugs.
The people who knew Ledger well loved him. And he had a special bond with director Terry Gilliam. Biskind’s story makes me really regret that I missed The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, which played late in the Cannes festival after I left. Gilliam sent me an invite to a screening—in London. The movie still doesn’t have a domestic distributor. It sounds like the quintessential Gilliam movie. Gilliam was my first published Q & A in Film Comment in 1981, at the time of Time Bandits.
So I will have to settle for selected footage at Comic-Con next week, and maybe some Gilliam access. And hope that someone steps up to release the movie.
Originally posted on Variety.com