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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
Film Reviews - Fantastic Fest Round Up - Day 8
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Sept. 27, 2013 11:20 a.m.

By Adam Ruhl













Well the end has finally come, Fantastic Fest 2013 went out with a phenomenal closing film, Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem. It was touch and go for most of the day, but with a little luck I was able to secure entrance to this amazing film. I have written a special review for it and encourage everyone to see this film. I hope you have enjoyed our Fantastic Fest coverage and I look forward to sharing the festival with you all again in 2014.















The Zero Theorem<>






Opinion about Terry Gilliam films tends to be fairly

polarized. Myself, the type of folks who read our site, and lovers of genre

films the world over largely consider him a genius and master filmmaker.

Others, who prefer more conventional films or simply don’t like his style, have

a decidedly more mixed reaction. Zero Theorem is not likely to reconcile these

two sides anytime soon. If anything, Terry Gilliam has continued to evolve and

push his storytelling into even deeper realms than his earlier films. I’ve seen

this new movie once, but I feel like I will need time and several more viewings

before its messages become clear to me. That’s not to say that the film is

convoluted, it’s actually very straight forward, but on reflection I feel like

Terry Gilliam is encoding deeper meaning under the plot. <>






The Zero Theorem is a story about Qohen (Christoph Waltz),

an office worker who wishes to work from home because he is expecting a phone

call which will tell him the meaning of his life. His wish is granted when he

is assigned a project to work on solving the The Zero Theorem, an equation to

show that the entire universe is meaningless. The screenplay was written by Pat

Rushin (who attended the closing screening but was not available for Q&A)

and he composes some fascinating characters; similar to those in earlier

Gilliam films, but with more brooding and melancholy. Terry Gilliam stated

that, like Brazil, this was commentary on the business world of an era. I heard

someone refer to it as the “spiritual successor’ of Brazil and I can see how

someone would draw that parallel to a point. Zero points a lot of the same fun

at corporate structures and authority, but takes its own road when considering

modern motivations and how technology has shaped our world. <>






The Zero Theorem has just started on the festival rounds and

it may be some time before we see a domestic US release. When it does become

available I recommend seeing it a number of times, I know I’m going to catch

more in later viewings.  As with all his

films it’s so visually busy that it’s easy to miss important details. The Zero

Theorem is a brilliant film and a stunning achievement for Gilliam and Waltz. Ultimately

I think this film will place high in the list of the director’s best works. <>






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