In the bleak days of 1983, the Crimson Permanent Assurance, an accountancy staffed by elderly workers much like a slave ship, has been taken over by efficiency-minded corporate types. When they sack an employee, there’s an uprising, and the building is unleashed from its moorings to sail across the (dry) ocean and take on the financial centers of the world, starting with an all-out attack on the large skyscraper housing The Very Big Corporation of America, complete with filing-cabinet cannons, ceiling-fan broadswords, and paper-spindle short-swords. Continue reading Terry Gilliam – The Crimson Permanent Assurance (1983)
After her mother dies from a heroin overdose, Jeliza-Rose is taken from the big city to a rural farmhouse by her father. As she tries to settle into a new life in a house her father had purchased for his now-deceased mother, Jeliza-Rose’s attempts to deal with what’s happened result in increasingly odd behavior, as she begins to communicate mainly with her bodiless Barbie doll heads and Dell, a neighborhood woman who always wears a beekeeper’s veil. Continue reading Terry Gilliam – Tideland [+Extras] (2005)
Brazil constitutes Terry Gilliam’s enormously ambitious follow-up to his 1981 Time Bandits. It also represents the second installment in a trilogy of Gilliam films on imagination versus reality, that began with Bandits and ended in 1989 with The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. To create this wild, visually audacious satire, Gilliam combines dystopian elements from Orwell, Huxley and Kafka (plus a central character who mirrors Walter Mitty) with his own trademark, Monty Python-esque, jet black British humor and his gift for extraordinary visual invention. The results are thoroughly unprecedented in the cinema. Continue reading Terry Gilliam – Brazil (1985)
The Zero Theorem casts Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, an egghead data processor who is given a mission to make order out of chaos. This being a production by Terry Gilliam – the rambling mad uncle of British cinema – Qohen Leth is clearly screwed from the outset. The Zero Theorem is a sagging bag of half-cooked ideas, a dystopian thriller with runaway dysentery, a film that wears its metaphorical trousers around its metaphorical ankles. In fits and starts, I quite enjoyed it.
The plot (by Pat Rushin) blunders merrily between the trite and the tangled as Qohan holes up in his big old house, tapping maniacally at his keyboard to make the numbers add up. But the theorem is unprovable, and the walls are closing in, and the sense of airless claustrophobia is partly a result of budgetary constraints and partly the director’s own junk-shop aesthetic. Here is a man who cannot see a movie interior without festooning it with lightbulbs and candles, religious artefacts and antique telephones. Continue reading Terry Gilliam – The Zero Theorem (2013)
Could this be the funniest movie ever made? By any rational measure of comedy, this medieval romp from the Monty Python troupe certainly belongs on the short list of candidates. According to Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide, it’s “recommended for fans only,” but we say hogwash to that–you could be a complete newcomer to the Python phenomenon and still find this send-up of the Arthurian legend to be wet-your-pants hilarious. It’s basically a series of sketches woven together as King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail, with Graham Chapman as the King, Terry Gilliam as his simpleton sidekick Patsy, and the rest of the Python gang filling out a variety of outrageous roles. The comedy highlights are too numerous to mention, but once you’ve seen Arthur’s outrageously bloody encounter with the ominous Black Knight (John Cleese), you’ll know that nothing’s sacred in the Python school of comedy. From holy hand grenades to killer bunnies to the absurdity of the three-headed knights who say “Ni–!,” this is the kind of movie that will strike you as fantastically funny or just plain silly, but why stop there? It’s all over the map, and the pace lags a bit here and there, but for every throwaway gag the Pythons have invented, there’s a bit of subtle business or grand-scale insanity that’s utterly inspired. The sum of this madness is a movie that’s beloved by anyone with a pulse and an irreverent sense of humor. If this movie doesn’t make you laugh, you’re almost certainly dead. –Jeff Shannon Continue reading Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones – Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Extras] (1975)
A radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a horrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was a victim of it.
A Modern Day Tale About The Search For Love, Sanity, Ethel Merman And The Holy Grail.
A good, old-fashioned story of guilt, poverty, love, madness and free video club membership.
Some called him a hero. Some called him the most dangerous man in America Continue reading Terry Gilliam – The Fisher King (1991)