Lecce welcomes Terry Gilliam: "I could shoot my Don Quixote here"
by Vittoria Scarpa
20/04/2012 - Following Naples’ back-streets, for his next film Terry Gilliam (photo) could wind his camera around Lecce’s baroque architecture. A guest at the Lecce Festival of European Cinema (April 17-21), which yesterday screened his short shot in Naples, The Wholly Family (European Film Award for best short film), the cult American director, a naturalised Englishman, 71 years old and with a contagious laugh, in fact talked about his project for Don Quixote , which he has been working on for years: "I worte my Don Quixote five or six times, according to the experience I’m going through. I hate it by now", he joked, admitting that, once he has found the funding for it, he could even shoot it in Lecce: "The city’s baroque architecture and fantastic light very much remind one of certain parts of Spain".
Gilliam talked about his first experience of short films ("I felt as though I was back in the times of Monty Python: quick production and fast writing. I wrote the screenplay in twenty minutes"), he went over the unfortunate ups and downs of Parnassus [trailer] ("I still ask myself how it might have been if Heath Ledger had played all of the character’s aspects") and he also announced a possible 3D conversion of one of his films: "We are doing some tests for Time Bandits (film from 1981 produced by HandMade Films of former Beatle George Harrison). I’m not particularly attracted to 3D, but I welcome it if it helps to find a new audience for old films".
On the same day of the announcement that Matteo Garrone’s film Reality [trailer, film focus] , whose main character is played by a former convict of the Volterra prison, had been selected in competition to the Cannes Film Festival, Salvatore Striano, the Brute in Caesar Must Die [trailer, film focus], was the other star of the third day of the festival. At the end of an exciting screening of the Taviani brothers’ film, organised in Lecces’ prison, Striano, who served 8 years in prison, talked of those he defines as his "former colleagues": "Art is a life-saver. Use the time you have, there is a lot of it, to educated yourself and to learn something for when you will be out. If I had had some books to hand before, my life would have been different".
(Translated from Italian)