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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present day. It tells the story of Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary 'Imaginarium', a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick, in which he won immortality. Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this 'coming of age' milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter's hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles - and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all...
Photos by Gavin De West
The horse drawn traveling stage of Doctor Parnassus
Christopher Plummer as Doctor Parnassus
Doctor Parnassus Book of travels. The most intricate prop of the show.
The cover featured a twine binding with metal appliques and clasps. Components were robbed from an antique bible
Set in the 30's Parnassus begs on a street corner using his Gilliamesque "Hurdy Gurdy"
This Prop now resides in Tow Waits studio in California. Gilliam gifted to Tom on his birthday while shooting Parnassus.
Details show use of an old Dictaphone machine, various elements from a tuba
When cranked, this old egg beater ran the machine and bellows.
Closeup on the Dictaphone component
The unit was mounted in an 1800's wicker baby carriage.
Tom Waits as the Devil with a handmade fishing rod and reel.
Tom's hearing aid fashioned from parts from a Dictaphone and Clarinet bell as a mouthpiece.
This throat tube was used by Heath ledger, Colin Farrel, Jude Law and Christopher Plummer.
Ancient African board game. Prop built solely from museum archival reference photographs.
These toy puppet heaters appear at the end of the film. Parnassus sold them on the street corner.
Puppet Theater's on set. That's Gilliam's arm in the shot...
All drawn to represent the cast in the film
Gilliam on set.
Peter Stormare plays The President.
Terry gets wired up to climb a ladder on camera
Terry and Terry
Terry's Director's Chair
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