Monday, March 26

Terry Gilliam's New Movie: The Wholly Family

A few years ago I watched Monty Python: Almost the Truth -- Lawyer's Cut, and can't recommend it highly enough to anyone who enjoys Monty Python, as well as to anyone who is thinking of sending their own work out into the world, hoping to make a go of it financially. It helps to learn that even the talented individuals in Monty Python had bad luck, critics and setbacks.

I decided to check out what Terry Gilliam has been up to lately and discovered that he is pushing the envelope of digital publishing. He has written and directed a short 20 minute movie, The Wholly Family. According to IMDB it is about "An American family in the streets of Naples." Gilliam's daughter, Amy Gilliam, was a producer for the project.

Here's a description of The Wholly Family from IMDB:
About half a year ago, Terry Gilliam started shooting in Naples. The little boy Jake in the film was played by a child who went to the same school as me in Rome. Because I knew him, I was able to snag a DVD copy of the film when it was released.

When a troubled family of three take a vacation to Naples, it will take the efforts of the Pulcinella to show the family just how special they really are.

The main actors all do a fine job in portraying a family that has been torn apart, but the supporting actors shine as the inhabitants of Naples. The abundance of actors familiar with their location all help it to be more believable. Obviously the real star is Terry Gilliam, and this short if full of his trademark wide-angle shots, surreal visuals, and dark humor. Not all of it is to be taken seriously, but certain images presented in this film are sure to leave an impression. The scene where the Pulcinella carry Jake on the bridge cutting into the sea is something I probably won't forget any time soon.

Overall, if you ever manage to find a copy of this short film, I highly recommend giving it a view. It's very entertaining, and might be the best short film Gilliam has ever directed. I give it four Ben 10 action figures out of five.

(Keep an eye out for two small baby-masks from Brazil during the baby doll scene).
- by Nickolas-Devito
This was the first time I'd heard about an artist exclusively distributing their own film from their website, but apparently I'm behind the times. In 2007 Radiohead published and distributed their 7th album, In Rainbows, as a digital download that customers could order for whatever amount they wished to pay.

Comedians Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari have followed in Radiohead's footsteps. The choice to offer a digital download from his website paid off for Louis C.K. since he made a million dollars in the first 12 days!
So far, the business experiment has paid off, with C.K. making $1 million in sales within 12 days, which he split between production costs ($250,000), bonuses to staffers ($250,000) and donations to charities ($280,000), keeping just $220,000 for himself. And now other comedians are following C.K.'s digital footsteps by applying the small-business model to their comedy acts, skipping the middleman and shaking up the studios and corporations that have traditionally profited from these comedy specials.
- Louis C.K. Video Inspires New Business Model For Comedians
You can also read about Louis C.K.'s financial success on the website where he is selling his digital download: Louis C.K.'s digital download.

The success of these artists makes me think that perhaps established authors would do well to offer a book or two from their websites.

Thanks for reading.

- Terry Gilliam's new movie: The Wholly Family
- The Wholly Family on IMDB
- Monty Python on IMDB
- Terry Gilliam on IMDB
- Louis C.K.'s comedy special: Live at the Beacon Theater
- Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious

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