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The Pre-Take on 'The Zero Theorem'

Having already been released in Europe and South America, "The Zero Theorem" is set to be released in the United States, in mid-August of 2014. 'Zero Theorem' is the tale of a computer programmer's quest for the answer to a question which asks if life has a point or purpose. Despite the innocuous nature of the quest and the question, stirring forces rise to derail his search by introducing an alluring young love interest into the path of his endeavors. While little of the story is evident in July 13th US trailer, a general synopsis is readily available, as a result of previous international releases and reviews. Despite Terry Gilliam's notoriety and eclectic track-record of success, "Zero Theorem" has not been received as well as his many of his previous feature length excursions into the surreal. As reported on Indiewire.com (July 8th), "having premiered at 70th Venice International Film Festival last year, the film is truly an ambitious effort but has so far received mixed reviews."

Nothing Is Everything
Nothing Is Everything
Voltage Pictures
Nothing Is Everything
Voltage Pictures

The latest film from Terry Gilliam, "The Zero Theorem" joins an ample library of surrealistic and socially charged theatrical fictions regarding the potential paths of society and the future of mankind. Best known for groundbreaking films like "Brazil," "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," and the Monty Python franchise, Terry Gilliam continues to produce a variety of visually and conceptually rich films and shorts. Bringing "Zero Theorem's" Qohen Leth to life, Christoph Waltz stars as the programmer in search of the answer to the question and point of life's purpose. Recently receiving an Oscar for his role as Dr. King Schultz, a confident and perceptive bounty-hunter, Waltz's portrayal of Qohen is more angst ridden and socially apprehensive. Providing a pleasing, yet unwanted distraction for Qohen, Mélanie Thierry dawns the role of Bainsley, a young woman sent to wrench Qohen away from his quest. Though well known in Europe, in the US, Thierry is probably best known for her role as Aurora, in "Babylon A.D." alongside Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh. A slightly more familiar Matt Damon plays a bit part as Management, one of the film's omnipresent antagonists.

Characteristic of any Terry Gilliam production, "The Zero Theorem" overflows with a staggering amount of visual complexity and surrealistic imagery. Besides an array of practical special effects and props, a good number of the visual effects are the product of The Chimney Pot. The Chimney Pot also had a hand in the visual effects for "Her," the 2013 feature centered around a man's romance with an artificial intelligence. While 'Zero' appears to rely on the practical for many of its effects, CG serves to refine and resolve what the practical does not. Regardless, Terry Gilliam's eclectic style and tastes are apparent.