“Zero must equal one hundred percent.”
You’ll be hearing that a lot in the first trailer for Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem. But what does it all mean? How can such a tiny piece of math re-grow Christoph Waltz’s hair and transplant him onto some picturesque, “wish you were here” postcard of a beach? How can math (seriously, math?) strip him nude and set him adrift through space?
Judging from the trailer alone, it’s not entirely clear. But then, if it was entirely clear just from two and a half minutes of footage, this trailer would probably be giving far too much away. Instead, we get a big mess of everything- set pieces, characters, plot points- and it’s all wrapped up in enough trippy mystery mishmash that nothing can really qualify as a spoiler. Sure, some of these CGI doodads must have real narrative significance, but without anything to link them together, who can tell?
One of the only concrete things we can gleam from this clip is that Gilliam has nailed it in terms of the film’s visuals. Our visits to the outside world are drenched in neon CGI; distracting and invasive and occasionally hilarious (note the Simpsons-quality sign gag above the arcade: “Arbeit Macht Fun!”). And in the trailer’s dreamier segments, the special effects take on a distinctly different character, something simple and low-tech. Waltz drifting through space looks absolutely fake, but it also looks charming and cartoonish and inviting in all the ways that the ad-crunch future is not. Hopefully the rest of the film holds the same feeling.
Now, only one question remains (besides the obvious one about Waltz’ eyebrows): Why was this trailer only released in 360p? The world may never know. Either way, check it out below.
As of now, The Zero Theorem has no U.S. release date.