Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2018
Scott R. Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

Miscellaneous Film Festival Shorts…

I saw a couple of shorts in the course of the 1998 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Here is what they were.

The Changing Room provides proof positive that Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel are alive and well, at least in the heritage of cinema. This six-minute Australian short by Alyson Bell is essentially an update to the classic Un Chien Andalou, which is 70 years old this year. Bell’s surreal images play with the various meanings or concepts of change, e.g. changing a light, one’s clothes, one’s life… (Seen 28 August 1998)

Thousand is a four-minute abstract British piece by Simon Ellis, featuring the music of Kid Cosmo. Its imagery is like nothing so much as an old television set on the fritz. (Seen 29 August 1998)

Scene by Scene: Terry Gilliam

It was worth seeing Terry Gilliam just to be reassured that at least some men in their late 50s can still wear hair down their backs and get away with it. He was interviewed by BBC Radio One film critic Mark Kermode, who presented several clips from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and a few from Brazil and asked Gilliam to comment on them. Some of the interesting things learned from the chat: Alex Cox wrote the original screenplay for Fearing and Loathing and was slated to direct it until he “alienated everybody”; Gilliam wanted to use four songs by Jimi Hendrix in the film, but Hendrix’s family wouldn’t give permission because they didn’t want his music associated with anything having to do with drugs; Gilliam has never taken LSD because, with the way he sees things, it would be redundant; his usual director of photography, Roger Pratt, was not available for Fear and Loathing because he was working on The Avengers (“That will teach him”), and this gave Nicola Pecorini (who has one eye) a chance at the job and his first big break; Jeff Bridges was Gilliam’s first choice for Twelve Monkeys, but he liked the idea when Bruce Willis expressed interest. Gilliam (the lone Yank in the Monty Python troupe and their premier animator) said he was still recovering from the experience of working on his latest movie and hadn’t even thought about what his next project might be. (Seen 26 August 1998)