• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Monty Python star Terry Gilliam flies into town

FILM director Terry Gilliam was in Glasgow to reveal something completely different - his new movie.

Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam

The Monty Python man was at the GFT for a Glasgow Film Festival screening of his film The Zero Theorem.

The film is the final part of his sci-fi trilogy, following 1985's Brazil and 1995's 12 Monkeys.

The movie centres on a reclusive computer genius played by Christoph Waltz, who is working on a formula to determine whether life holds meaning.

Meanwhile, a short film shown in cinemas before The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 - and subsequently lost - has returned to UK screens to the delight of Star Wars fans.

Black Angel was directed by Briton Roger Christian who won an Oscar for his work on the first instalment, A New Hope.

The 22-minute feature shot in Scotland is the tale of a knight on the way back from the crusades who rescues a princess.The original was lost and Black Angel later gained cult status in film circles.

Two years ago Universal Studios contacted Christian to say the prints had been found and they were painstakingly restored.

More than three decades after the feature's original release, he attended a sell-out screening at the Glasgow Film Festival tonight.

Speaking ahead of the event, Christian said he would not be as nervous as last October when he saw it again for the first time at the Mill Valley Film Festival in California.

He said: "I went out the back of the cinema and thought 'I can't go in and watch this'.

"It's a different pace, it was made 34 years ago. But then I thought I should, because they've spent all this time and dedication to restoring it, so I had to go in the back and sit there and watch.

"I felt OK. It looked really beautiful and the photography is stunning. People are so enamoured with it still."

Christian won an Oscar for his set decoration on Star Wars and received a nomination for his work on his next full-length feature, Alien.

His move into directing was supported by George Lucas and Black Angel was shown in cinemas ahead of the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back.

Both he and Lucas were influenced by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (1910 - 1998).

Christian said: "He was the main influence for me on the film and the way I made it. The way he put dramatic landscape and drama together into a Cinemascope frame - to me he invented it.

"That's what led me to Scotland. The dramatic landscapes I wanted, the only place I could find them were here.

"Eilean Donan castle represented the kind of romantic, Pre-Raphaelite castle that I wanted."

The director said that while shooting on a budget in the remote Highlands he and his eight crew members survived on sandwiches and "huge vats of porridge" cooked up by male lead actor Tony Vogel.

In the years that followed Christian said he was regularly asked by fans and by fellow film makers to re-release Black Angel.

He said: "It was all serendipity. The negatives were lost, the prints had got lost, I didn't think there was any chance.

"Peter Briggs who wrote Hellboy kept saying 'you've got to put this film out'.

"Then I was contacted by Wired magazine about a series of articles on what they called forgotten relics and they said 'your film keeps coming up'.

"When the neg was found I thought, I've got to go along with this, because that was sheer fluke."

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

215910