Embargo on ‘Parnassus’ reviews confounds

Edict by E1 requires journalists to wait for Sept. 10

Buzzkill or buzzsaw?

An edict by Canada’s E1 Entertainment distrib that journos would have to sign an embargo agreement to hold all reviews or comments on Terry Gilliam‘s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” until the pic’s opening day, Sept. 10, left many scribes scratching their heads.

Leading up to the Toronto film fest, the eyes of the biz collectively turn to the Toronto film critics, looking for tips or favorable advance plugs for their titles. And while E1 says the film’s creative team was concerned about critics trying to scoop each other too early and killing potential buzz ahead of the fest, which runs Sept. 10-19, scribes were quick to note that, um, the film had screened out of competition last May in Cannes.

The pic was already laden with anticipation, as it features the final screen perf of Heath Ledger, and E1’s embargo came across as pointlessly restrictive to many crix.

Adding insult to injury: At the Toronto media screening, the fourth and fifth reels of the film were screened out of order, necessitating a second screening.


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