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Watch Terry Gilliam’s Three-Hour Opera ‘Benvenuto Cellini’

Written by on June 22, 2015 

terry gilliam benvenuto cellini

For a director who sometimes goes years without much of any word on what’s coming next, Terry Gilliam has been awfully active as of late. To follow-up his severely underseen The Zero Theorem, he’s preparing to finally, at long last, commence shooting on The Man Who Killed Don Quixotehe only needed a major corporation’s new business model to make it work! — and, also with the support of Amazon, a miniseries based on the long-gestating screenplay The Defective Detective. In addition to all of this, Arte (via The Playlist) are streaming his three-hour rendition of Hector Berlioz‘s opera, Benvenuto Cellini, which is described by the English National Opera as “a tale of thwarted love, elopement, intrigue, disguise, and mistaken identity, which also features dazzling visual set pieces including a wild Mardi Gras carnival.”

It’s hardly any surprise that, on the page alone, this would attract Gilliam. But what truly makes Cellini a work of his own is its visual approach. Although there can’t be any fish-eye lenses and roving cameras — a compromise with regard to the latter: no one stays still, ever, thus requiring more camera movement than the average filmed play — it’s still within his power to design another garish world, set- and costume-wise, and he exploits this power to fairly significant ends. Based on what I’ve peeked at and, more broadly, my generally positive impression of Gilliam’s work, I think it’s fair to say that fans will not be disappointed.

Watch the whole thing below (which, as a warning, auto plays):


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