around the screen in bursts of pent-up energy. though whether he really gets below the surface of the character — or deserved his recent Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor — is debatable. At first Gilliam was also unconvinced.
‘I thought he was wrong for it.’ the director admits bluntly. ‘He wanted to prove he could do things that were different. try to escape from the blond. blue-eyed bimbo trap. We got him together with Stephen Bridgewater who trained Jeff Bridges as a DJ in The Fisher King. Stephen called me at the end of the first session and said: “What have I ever done to you to deserve this. He‘s got a lazy tongue. He can’t hold his breath for more than five seconds. He has no ability to speak fast or enunciate properly." Brad was supposed to be sending me tapes every couple of weeks on his progress. which he consistently failed to do. which made me even more nervous.
‘But he worked amazingly hard.‘ Gilliam continues. ‘He‘s a very diligent. earnest guy. He arrived on the day to do it — and he did it. What you see in that first scene when he's introduced. that’s his first day‘s shooting. The terrible thing was. at the end of the day. he was this limp rag. he couldn‘t move. He’d been ticking, twitching andjerking all over the place and was completer destroyed for the next day's work. But he did it. ljust put the camera in the right place.‘
That‘s a little false modesty fora man whose wild and surreal visuals skills give his work a distinctive edge. Nevertheless. it took him four and a half y ‘ars to get back behind the camera
l i l
‘I thought Brad was wrong for it, but he wanted to prove he could do things that were different, try to escape from the blond, blue-eyed bimbo trap.’
after The Fisher King. During that time he saw his pet project. The Defective Detective. stuck on the back burner for being too expensive. and months of delicate pre-production meetings over an adaptation of Dickens‘s A Tale OfTwo Cities count for nothing when the scheduled star Mel Gibson went off to direct Brave/wart.
‘I spent four years effectively getting into the kind of development hell I’d warned other people. so stnugly. not to get into.’ Gilliam says. ‘The Fisher King was a successful film and suddenly I got all these offers where before. by being the kind of bastard I’ve been. all the doors were shut except usually one at a time. It was success that fucked me up. basically.‘
But a type of success that now lets him punctuate almost every sentence with a giggle or a hearty laugh. The years ahead might be an apocalyptic nightmare in 12 Monkeys. but the futures looking rosy for Terry Gilliam.
I 2 Monkeys goes on general release on Fridav [9 April. -
t's safe to say this is probably
not the best gig the Trashcan
Sinatras have ever played. The venue is a freezing cold. grimy Glasgow pub that’s seen better days and nights. In one corner, two girls are having a knock- down, hair-pulling ﬁght over a fella; in another. the audience seems more interested in the football on telly than the carefully crafted melodic pop the band are doggedly performing behind them. They‘ve already had to contend with a drugged- up taxi driver. and there‘s a rumour that somewhere in the building a ghost is wandering around . . .
Fonunatel y for the Trashcans, they haven‘t really fallen this far down the damper. It‘s all part of a short ﬁlm — Spooktime - being made to promote their new album. A Happy Packet. Despite fairly approving critical responses, their previous records haven‘t exactly set the charts on ﬁre. and the band weren’t too keen on making videos anyway. Their record company, Go! Discs. had already had a big success with Portishead‘s ﬁlm To Kill A Dead Man. and so, after a few drunken conversations, the idea for Spooktime was born.
As the band are hasty to
12 MONKEYS FEATURE
Terry Gilliam and Bruce Willis on the set of 12 Monkeys
Scottish band the Trashcan Sinatras have made a film to support I 2 Monkeys’s cinema release. Andrea Mullaney listens in.
explain. though, this doesn‘t mean they're going to become serious luvvie-darlings. Aside from some Beatles-style antics on the way to the gig. their part in this is to provide the soundtrack to a rather disjointed series of stories all based around .r’ , '
Trashcan on celluloid: Frank Reader
characters from their songs. The script was written by Tony Crean from Co! Discs, director John McFarlane and rock writer Paolo Hewitt - with a few ideas thrown in by man-of-the-moment lrvine Welsh — and crams so many stories into its ﬁfteen minutes that casual viewers could be forgiven for losing the plot.
The Trashcans themselves. however, seem more ambivalent about the project. 1 am scared about it.’ sighs Frank Reader. singer and, according to a rather short-sighted and excitable extra. Jarvis lookalike, ‘but we’ve got to ﬁnd a way to get people to hear our music. We don’t sell enough records to justify our record deal from an accountant’s point of view. For us it's frustrating. but it‘s the way of the world these days ~ you can’t just put out music, you’ve got to get it into the media. But we‘re damn good at what we do.’
The ﬁlm is shot inside Glasgow’s gloriously seedy George Hotel. already seen on screen in Trainspotting and Small Faces. The idea is that short videos for the singles from A Happy Pocket will be cut from it, like trailers for a feature ﬁlm. and the longer version will be shown in cinemas alongside 12 Monkeys.
Trashcan bassist David Hughes is particulaly pleased about that: ‘What I like best is that if people go to see Bruce Willis and they’re ﬁfteen minutes early. they‘ll be forced to sit and listen to our music. I like that co-ercion — 1’” use any dirty mean trick in the book because 1 think we’ve made a really great album and, if no-one buys this one, I’ll be really distraught.‘
The Happy Pocket is available now on 00! Discs.
The List l9 Apr-.2 May I996 11