It was reported in May of 2011 that director Terry Gilliam was helming a stage production of Berlioz’s “The Damnation of Faust” for the English National Opera in London. After a string of failed, compromised and/or disappointing films over the year — “The Brothers Grimm” and “Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” among them – the hope was that Gilliam would find his past inspiration within Faust’s story of a man who sells his soul for youth and success. And well, he did. Our own Oliver Lyttleton reported on the original stage run and proclaimed that it was “Gilliam’s best work as a director in at least twenty years,” giving it an A grade in the process.
Cut to two years later, and the London production has made its way to YouTube. You can watch the entire two-hour production and see the bizarre, macabre imagery of Faust told in a way that’s pure Gilliam. It won’t be for everyone, it is opera after all, but to reiterate the original review, it is the best work Gilliam’s done in years and it’s a medium we don’t get to see a film director operate in too often, so it might be worth a watch tonight.