Surprise! Chicago International Film Festival Screens ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’

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CHICAGO – “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassas,” the long anticipated final film of Heath Ledger, directed by Terry Gilliam, was previewed last night at the Chicago International Film Festival at their “surprise’ screening.

The Audience Anticipates the Surprise Screening at the Chicago International Film Festival, October 20, 2009.
The Audience Anticipates the Surprise Screening at the Chicago International Film Festival, October 20, 2009.
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

Patrons gained entrance to the film by wearing an official Chicago International Film Festival clothing. Festival Artistic Director Michael Kutza got into the spirit, coordinating a photo shoot of the audience before the feature presentation.

Festival Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza and Patrick McDonald, October 20, 2009.
Festival Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza and Patrick McDonald, October 20, 2009.
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

The buzz about what film it could possibly be was palpable as everyone was seated. Many votes were cast for the Robert Downey/Guy Ritchie “Sherlock Holmes,” and as the surprise film also began in London the possibility was still there. When the title card came up, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassas,” a rousing burst of applause was heard.

This major preview was directed by Terry Gilliam, and concerns a troupe of actors performing their traveling show to modern Londoners. It features the mysterious Doctor Parnassas (Christopher Plummer) and his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole). They pick up a prominent charity director along the way named Tony (Heath Ledger) and the secrets of the Imaginarium begin to unfold.

Those secrets will be revealed on a 2009 Christmas Day Opening. The audience spilled out of the surprise screening extremely pleased, knowing that again the Chicago International Film Festival continued their tradition of being the at the forefront with major releases and quality festival fare.

”Best of the Fest” is tonight, October 21, 2009. The Chicago International Film Festival wraps up October 22th. Click here for details.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2009 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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