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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Directed By: Terry Gilliam
Released: 22 May 2009 (Cannes Film Festival)
16 October 2009 (United Kingdom)
11 November 2009 (France)
25 December 2009 (Canada)
Runtime: 123 minutes
Country: Canada
United Kingdom
Language: English

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 steampunk/fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam. It was the last film to feature Heath Ledger prior to his death; it was released posthumously.


In London, the sideshow troupe of Doctor Parnassus promises the audience a journey to the "Imaginarium", an imaginary world commanded by the mind of Doctor Parnassus, where dreams come true. In the stories that Doctor Parnassus tells to his daughter Valentina, the midget Percy, and his assistant Anton, he claims to have lived for more than one thousand years; However, when he fell in love with a mortal woman, he made a deal with the devil (Mr. Nick), trading his immortality for youth. As part of the bargain, he promised his son or daughter to Mr. Nick on their sixteenth birthday. Valentina is now almost to the doomed age and Doctor Parnassus makes a new bet with Mr. Nick, whoever seduces five souls in the Imaginarium will have Valentina as a prize. Meanwhile the troupe rescues Tony, a young man that was hanged on a bridge....

Steampunk Influences[]

Although the entertainers themselves live in modern-day England, the caravan has a rustic feel and relies on gears to unfold. The fantasy worlds have obvious steampunk influences, including airships and machines operated on gears, springs, and steampower.