Terry Gilliam

Discussion and info on people in film, ranging from directors to actors to cinematographers to writers.

Moderator: DarkImbecile

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Terry Gilliam

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:39 pm

Terry Gilliam (1940 -)

Image

"I really want to encourage a kind of fantasy, a kind of magic. I love the term magic realism, whoever invented it — I do actually like it because it says certain things. It's about expanding how you see the world. I think we live in an age where we're just hammered, hammered to think this is what the world is... and it's not the world. The world is a million possible things."

Filmography
Features
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Jabberwocky (1977)
Time Bandits (1981)
The Meaning of Life [co-director] (1983)
Brazil (1985)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
The Fisher King (1991)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (2000)
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Tideland (2005)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
The Zero Theorem (2014)
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

Shorts
"Storytime" (1968)
"Miracle of Flight" (1975)
"The Crimson Permanent Assurance" (1983)
"The Legend of Hallowdega" (2010)
"The Wholly Family" (2011)

Books
The Battle of Brazil: Terry Gilliam v. Universal Pictures in the Fight to the Final Cut by Jack Mathews (1987)
Dark Knights and Holy Fools: The Art and Films of Terry Gilliam: From Before Python to beyond Fear and Loathing by Bob McCabe (1999)
Gilliam on Gilliam by Ian Christie (2000)
Terry Gilliam: Interviews by David Sterritt and Lucille Rhodes (2004)
Dreams and Nightmares: Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Grimm & Other Cautionary Tales of Hollywood by Bob McCabe (2006)
Terry Gilliam by Peter Marks (2009)
The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It's a Mad World by Jeff Birkenstein, Anna Froula, and Karen Randell, eds. (2013)
Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The Untold Story by Gene Gregorits (2014)
Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir by Terry Gilliam (2015)
Tilting at Windmills: The Films of Terry Gilliam by Scott Colbert (2015)

Web Resources
Dreams: The Terry Gilliam Fanzine
Cinephilia & Beyond's collection articles, videos, links, and scripts for Gilliam's films
Senses of Cinema biography, bibliography, and collection of links
1981 interview with Gerald Peary, Parent's Choice Magazine
1996 interview with Bruce Willis and David Stratton, The Movie Show
2003 interview with Terry Gross, NPR
2009 interview with Nick Gazin, Vice
2009 interview with Maša Peče, Senses of Cinema
2014 interview with David Ehrlich, The Dissolve
2014 audio interview with Rian Johnson (Part 1), Talkhouse
2014 audio interview with Rian Johnson (Part 2), Talkhouse
2015 interview with Chris Wallace, Interview Magazine
2018 interview with Matt fagerholm, RogerEbert.com

Forum Resources
Terry Gilliam on DVD
903 Jabberwocky
37 Time Bandits
51 Brazil
764 The Fisher King
12 Monkeys
175 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Tideland (Terry Gilliam, 2005)
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (Terry Gilliam, 2009)
The Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam, 2014)
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam, 2018)

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam, 2018)

#2 Post by black&huge » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:29 pm

Luke M wrote:Is it ok to say he’s not that good? Even 12 Monkeys is fairly mediocre.
I'll just go the full step and say he never made a great movie.

User avatar
Lost Highway
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam, 2018)

#3 Post by Lost Highway » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:01 am

dda1996a wrote:It's OK to say so but I also think it's OK to say you're very wrong. It might not reach Marker's heights but 12 Monkeys is a great movie. I'll say everything post Fear and Loathing ranges from mediocre to bad (haven't seen Tideland, partial to Imaginarium) but this looks like a return to former. I'll watch almost anything with Pryce and Driver
12 Monkeys is his best film, I love how it honors Marker by including an homage to Vertigo in a nod to Sans soleil. Like all of Gilliams films, it’s somewhat flawed by Gilliam‘s tendency for excess (Brad Pitt‘s performance) but together with The Fisher King it’s his most controlled film.

For all it’s production problems, on the other end is The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which may be the most out of control Gilliam movie but it’s often very beautiful. I prefer it to Brazil which has a good first half but then feels like getting whacked around the head for another hour. All three major movie versions of Baron Münchhausen are visually astonishing and Gillliam was no doubt strongly influenced by Josef von Báky’s and Karel Zeman‘s adaptations.

I like The Fisher King but I find its two female supporting characters (Mercedes Ruehl and Amanda Plummer are fantastic !) far more interesting than its two male protagonists.

Starting with Fear and Loathing his films have become increasingly unwatchable for me.

I‘m not sure whether Gilliam has ever made a “great” film but I also don’t think he was ever mediocre.

User avatar
thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam, 2018)

#4 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Tue May 08, 2018 12:38 pm

black&huge wrote:
Luke M wrote:Is it ok to say he’s not that good? Even 12 Monkeys is fairly mediocre.
I'll just go the full step and say he never made a great movie.
I really liked Time Bandits, but haven't seen it for around two decades.

User avatar
JSC
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:17 am

Re: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam, 2018)

#5 Post by JSC » Tue May 08, 2018 1:15 pm

I think Gilliam's most fruitful period was essentially between Jabberwocky
and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The films he has made since then
have been rather meandering and formless (The Brothers Grimm, The
Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
, for example).

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam, 2018)

#6 Post by hearthesilence » Tue May 08, 2018 1:16 pm

I haven't seen his first, but disregarding Monty Python (often hilarious, but more like compilations of skits and jokes than fully realized films), films #2-4 are his best. All excellent, and not only does he get better and more imaginative with each one, he seems to mature as well. He's already well into adulthood by the time he's making these, but Time Bandits is designed as a boy's fantasy, Brazil feels like the type of film a disillusioned, cynical teen or young adult would make, and my favorite The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is the grand type of fantasy an older man would make (and does center on an older man).

After that, his work has merit, but they don't rise to the same peaks. The Fisher King is a wonderful interpretation - everything really good about it came from him and the excellent performances from Bridges, Williams and Ruehl and it makes up for the fact that the script and story is pretty dopey. 12 Monkeys looks great but I was never convinced that it had anything insightful to add to Chris Marker's original film. I haven't seen his recent work but I know people who really like The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and will eventually see it.

User avatar
Cold Bishop
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam, 2018)

#7 Post by Cold Bishop » Tue May 08, 2018 1:32 pm

Parnassus and Zero Theorem have merits but, much like Tim Burton, I feel Gilliam was undone by easy access to CGI (doubly so since he doesn't have big budgets). There's no sense of wonder or awe to his fantasy-scapes the way even the opening of Meaning of Life has.

I do remember feeling that Tideland was unjustly ignored at the time.

User avatar
Roscoe
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:40 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Terry Gilliam

#8 Post by Roscoe » Tue May 08, 2018 2:13 pm

I liked TIDELAND a good deal, a messy discomfiting work that got unfairly dismissed because it made a lot of reviewers really uncomfortable. PARNASSUS is just a mess -- it's not so much Heath Ledger's passing that was the problem, but the fact of his being cast at all: the movie only begins to work when Colin Farrell takes over the role, bringing a basic warmth and humanity to the role that Ledger just wasn't supplying.

And ZERO THEOREM was sunk by a flimsy script that felt like a retread of BRAZIL. I've got hopes for QUIXOTE, but the ubiquitous Adam Driver isn't making me enthusiastic. We'll see.

User avatar
DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Terry Gilliam

#9 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:32 am

Even by Gilliam’s standards of late, this Independent interview is a lot

User avatar
Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Terry Gilliam

#10 Post by Brian C » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:11 pm

I feel like the article is kinda worthless without the transcript though - way too much summarizing, especially of the interviewer’s words, to know what was really said.

And I don’t necessarily mean that as a defense of Gilliam, perfectly possible the writer cleaned up what he said a little and he’d come across even worse in the full transcript. Just saying that I have a hard time taking articles like this at face value.

ford
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:44 pm

Re: Terry Gilliam

#11 Post by ford » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:41 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:32 am
Even by Gilliam’s standards of late, this Independent interview is a lot
Gilliam has always held bourgeois propriety in contempt from a sort of ill-defined anarcho-left position. That's been a constant with him. He is identifying corporate wokeness as the latest iteration of that class's very narrowly defined moral crusade and thus rebuking it. As he's always done.
Brian C wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:11 pm
I feel like the article is kinda worthless without the transcript though - way too much summarizing, especially of the interviewer’s words, to know what was really said.

And I don’t necessarily mean that as a defense of Gilliam, perfectly possible the writer cleaned up what he said a little and he’d come across even worse in the full transcript. Just saying that I have a hard time taking articles like this at face value.
This is what young writers do now to get clicks: bait famous people into saying "outrageous" things (or reframe long interviews around such topics), hopefully rack up rage-induced page-views and social media shares. We saw this recently with Goldblum and Scarlet Johansson and their "shocking" takes on Woody Allen, and it's been a standard shtick of David Marchese's in New York magazine for some time (Norm McDonald and Martin Short come to mind).

It's very cynical and very boring and very much of a product of American professional class liberalism's 3-5 year fit of hysteria.

Post Reply