If you're not angry, they say, you're not paying attention. Mad hatter Terry Gilliam has been accused of a lot of things--directorial self-indulgence (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
), professional self-sabotage (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
), creative accounting (Brazil
). But one could never blame the Monty Python alum and native Minnesotan for failing to reckon with the cruel world. The cinematic equivalent of a well-timed hissy fit, Gilliam's new movie Tideland
hurls every size and shape of living nightmare at its preteen heroine (Jodelle Ferland), who's left alone in the middle of nowhere (Minnesota?) following the ugly overdoses of her junkie parents. Still, like Gilliam after getting cut up by Bob and Harvey Scissorhands (The Brothers Grimm
), the kid stays in the picture. Attentive as always, Gilliam says he's "not interested in opinions of people [who] don't pay to see the film." But he gamely e-mailed answers to our idle questions anyway.
City Pages: You're often described as a fabulist, but isn't Tideland a political movie for the No More Mr. Nice Guy age?
Terry Gilliam: Have people forgotten I made Brazil? George W. [Bush], [Dick] Cheney, and company haven't. I'm thinking of suing them for the illegal and unauthorized remake of Brazil.
CP: When you watch Tideland, what does it make you feel, personally speaking?
Gilliam: I think it's one of the best films I've made. It fills my heart with joy.
CP: You were born in Minnesota. You think Minneapolis might be a better city than most to live in once the apocalypse hits?
Gilliam: What apocalypse? Are there some problems in the world that I am unaware of that might lead to it? Gosh, now you've got me worried.
Tideland is playing now at Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis; 612.825.6006.