Terry Gilliam

"Terry Gilliam is best known for films that inventively combine the gothic and romantic. His trademark soaring flights of fantasy are often set to attack dogged rationality and grey-minded bureaucracy." - Tanya Krzywinska (Contemporary North American Film Directors, 2002)

Terry Gilliam

Director / Screenwriter / Producer
(1940- ) Born November 22, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Countries: USA, UK
Key Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure, Fantasy Comedy, Science Fiction, Buddy Film, Drama
Key Collaborators: Charles McKeown (Screenwriter), Roger Pratt (Cinematographer), Necola Pecorini (Cinematographer), Lesley Walker (Editor), Katharine Helmond (Leading Character Actress), Jeff Bridges (Leading Actor), Christopher Plummer (Leading Actor), Tony Grisoni (Screenwriter), Mick Audsley (Editor), Julian Doyle (Editor), Michael Palin (Leading Character Actor), Jonathan Pryce (Leading Character Actor)

"Gilliam likes the romantic vision available to apparently crazy people, as evidenced in both The Fisher King (1991) and his broken-off film about Don Quixote. Gilliam sees animation as creative, vitalistic, and emotional. His fish-eye lenses, fantastic sets, and caricatured acting all contribute to a cartoon-like sensibility in his live-action movies. In Twelve Monkeys, Gilliam takes the plot of La Jetée and changes it from a meditation on photography into a cartoon." - Steven Dillon (The Solaris Effect: Art & Artifice in Contemporary American Film, 2006)
"In breaking free of Monty Python's brand of humour, Gilliam has proven and idiosyncratic visionary to rank alongside Lynch... Brazil provides ample evidence of a talent for creating impossible but nightmarishly familiar worlds. Gilliam's taste for the visually surreal and grotesque compares with Borowczyk, Lynch and Tashlin, also former animators." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)
"Gilliam has worked resolutely in the space between the two elements of magic and reality in all his work, hardly surprising in a man who first became widely known as the provider of brilliant, surreal animation sequences for the Monty Python comedy team in the late 1960s and early 1970s... Gilliam's vision is dazzling an often very funny. One wishes, however, that he would push towards its limits and make films which were meals rather than snacks." - Norman Miller (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"Genial American-born cartoonist, animator and, latterly, film director whose affable exterior conceals a macabre sense of fantasy humour, as perhaps befits a former member of the Monty Python team... When the Pythons moved into films, Gilliam's opportunity to direct soon presented itself. His typically zany flourishes added to the crazy medieval world depicted in Monty Python and the Holy Grail before he made his solo directorial debut on the semi-Python Jabberwocky." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Illustrated Guide to Film Directors, 1999)
"Gilliam began as a contributor of effects, sequences, etc. for Monty Python, a TV show crammed with wordsmiths. This may have urged him deeper into visual excess. But, to these eyes, he has not yet appreciated the dramatic coherence necessary in film direction." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"Exuberant and indefatigable, Terry Gilliam has one of the most flamboyant and individual visual signatures in contemporary cinema. So much so that one can picture some of the projects that got away almost as vividly as the films he did pull off. He is a rampant fantasist and his unpredictable, subversive sense of humour keeps pulling the magic carpet from under your feet." - Tom Charity (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Gilliam is fascinated with fantasy, a theme to which he constantly returns." - The Movie Book, 1999
"Gilliam is an unapologetic maverick, frequently at odds with producers and executives. Even so, he has still managed to carve out a body of work which bares his unmistakable signature. His is a unique cinematic vision, anarchic and dreamlike, with something of the child's unfettered wonder at the strangeness of the world." - Robert Shail (British Film Directors, 2007)
"I think there's a side of me that's trying to compete with Lucas and Spielberg — I don't usually admit this publicly — because I tend to think that they only go so far, and their view of the world is rather simplistic. What I want to do is take whatever cinema is considered normal or successful at a particular time and play around with it — to use it as a way of luring audiences in." - Terry Gilliam
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) [co-directed by Terry Jones], Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Worth a Look
Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985) , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989), The Fisher King (1991), Tideland (2005), The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Not Recommended
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Terry Gilliam / Favourite Films
The Birth of a Nation (1915) D.W. Griffith, Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles, 8½ (1963) Federico Fellini, The Exterminating Angel (1962) Luis Buñuel, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean, Napoléon (1927) Abel Gance, Pinocchio (1940) Ben Sharpsteen & Hamilton Luske, Seven Samurai (1954) Akira Kurosawa, The Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman, Sherlock Jr. (1924) Buster Keaton.
Source: Time Out (1995)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Brazil
    comments powered by Disqus