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"I believe in the things I make. The fact that God doesn’t want me to make them is beside the point."
November 28, 2011 9:41 AM   Subscribe

"The thing is, some really good scripts come my way, but there’s nothing in them for me to come to grips with, they are complete in themselves ... There’s no uncertainty. I don’t look for answers; I look for questions. I like when people leave the cinema and feel like the world has been altered for them somewhat." Terry Gilliam: The Heir of Fellini and the Enemy of God. (Also, recently on the blue.)

Via The Browser.
posted by codacorolla (38 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ha! I'm watching Kevin and the dwarves forge the river right now.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:59 AM on November 28, 2011


I want to go to the alternate universe where Gillian made 'Watchmen'. He would have hit the anti-fascist nail hard.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on November 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Recently I got to see a few clips from what apparently is a twenty-minute-long commercial for Garofalo pasta directed by Gilliam. It's definitely a commercial, but it's also definitely not a Chevy built on the night shift in Van Nuys.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:11 AM on November 28, 2011


I am still waiting for Good Omens. Someday. Someday.
posted by Gator at 10:12 AM on November 28, 2011


The only TG film I didn't care for at all was Fear and Loathing, but that was more on subject matter handling than TG per se (well that and there is just so much of Depp i can take in one setting). Brothers Grimm and Jabberwocky where eh.. ok films (imo) but at least had some decent spots. Everything else I really really like. even the difficult stuff like Tideland.

Brazil though.. that was near prescient.
posted by edgeways at 10:40 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great juxtaposition between this and the Ken Russell obit below. Both completely outrageous filmmakers.
posted by zomg at 10:41 AM on November 28, 2011


I want to go to the alternate universe where Gillian made 'Watchmen'. He would have hit the anti-fascist nail hard.

lol. i've been to that universe. the sex scene is, astonishingly, even more awkward.
posted by fetamelter at 11:04 AM on November 28, 2011


I can't imagine two directors more opposite one another than Snyder and Gilliam. I too would love to have seen what he did with Watchmen.
posted by codacorolla at 11:22 AM on November 28, 2011


Michael Palin ... told his old Python pal that he couldn’t quite decide if “Tideland” was his best film or his worst.

Given this choice, I'd go with: 'best'. A challenging and beautiful film, which I missed hearing about for a while after its release.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 12:07 PM on November 28, 2011


"I like when people leave the cinema and feel like the world has been altered for them somewhat."

Then you are successful, sir. Gilliam's films are all over the place creatively. Some of them I don't like, some of 'em I love, and some of them can be watched over and over and just get better with each iteration, but they all leave you thinking at the end. And they all have moments of pure brilliance that last long after the movie is over, like when the Tim Bandits come bursting through Kevin's wall. Nothing can ever be the same after that.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:50 PM on November 28, 2011


Great interview. Lost in La Mancha is truly heartbreaking and worth a watch for "everything that could possibly could go wrong, does" reasons.
posted by artlung at 1:04 PM on November 28, 2011


A challenging and beautiful film

Given a choice of 2 words to describe Tideland, I'd use either one of these but one of them should be "Eeeeeeewwww"
posted by Hoopo at 1:56 PM on November 28, 2011


I want to go to the alternate universe where Gillian made..............


Fill in the blank, man.
posted by Trochanter at 3:22 PM on November 28, 2011


Fill in the blank, man.

Saving Private Ryan.
posted by delfin at 3:24 PM on November 28, 2011


"in Hollywood, everyone takes characters and puts them into action sequences where they are threatened by outside forces, but to me the threat is your own perception of the world.”

As someone who constantly struggles to balance my own perception of the world with what everyone else seems to think is going on, I take a lot of solace from this insightful statement.

Gilliam has been a deity for me for a long time, and every one of his movies is a treasure, even the ones I don't really connect with. I hope to see more by him before he passes. There has never been anyone like him, and there's not even anyone playing on a similar field anymore.

This was a great interview. And that trailer looks fascinating. I hope it makes it to the US sometime.

Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 3:49 PM on November 28, 2011


Fill in the blank, man.

Sense and Sensibility?
posted by greenhornet at 3:50 PM on November 28, 2011


Saving Private Ryan.
Sense and Sensibility?


You think you scarin' me but you ain't scarin' me.

I guess what I was thinking of was how interesting it would be to see what Terry would do with one of the big superhero movies. I was thinking that about both he and Paul Verhooven. Which, by the way, why isn't that guy working?
posted by Trochanter at 4:05 PM on November 28, 2011


I'd like to see his take on inception.
posted by codacorolla at 4:15 PM on November 28, 2011


there would be less snowmobiles one hopes.
posted by The Whelk at 4:24 PM on November 28, 2011


Which, by the way, why isn't that guy working?

Well, he's never been the most prolific of film makers... Between Robocop in 1987 and the present day, he's only done 7 or 8 movies.

He seems to have left Hollywood and is back in the Netherlands making movies. His most recent was 2006's Black Book, but he does have a new project announced (also a Netherlands production) called Hidden Force.

He's working... he's just not doing it where Americans are likely to notice.
posted by hippybear at 4:25 PM on November 28, 2011


The Whelk: I should warn you, in that universe Zack Snyder directed Ryan Reynolds in "Batman Begins".
posted by Grimgrin at 4:56 PM on November 28, 2011


Tideland: Terry's heartfelt personal intro.
posted by ovvl at 5:12 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hated Batman Begins, I am willing to take that risk.
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on November 28, 2011


Like it or hate it, it's hard to deny that Tideland is an extraordinary film.
posted by Hogshead at 5:43 PM on November 28, 2011


I haven't seen Tideland, but after watching the introduction ovvl posted, I certainly intend to see it now! The child inside him is a little girl? What in the world...
posted by Kevin Street at 7:48 PM on November 28, 2011


I just want to chime in and say that I think that Tideland is probably Gilliam's most consistently great film.
posted by Alex404 at 1:38 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tideland is both amazing and challenging.

Gilliam twisted Goethe’s epic into a startling, jack-booted parable on Nazism and a century of German history that preceded it.

Such parables are a dime a dozen in German literature. Doktor Faustus by Thomas Mann even fits the description to a t, but the basic theme of exploring aspects of the German(-speaking) society which led to the rise of Nazism is present in major works such as Musil's Man without Qualities or Hermann Broch's The Sleepwalkers.
posted by ersatz at 3:45 AM on November 29, 2011


I like Gilliam's movies, but I always feel the guy tends to fold when the pressure is on. I watched Lost in La Mancha, and was reminded of another movie which was beset by disaster, but actually got made: Apocalypse Now. Compared to what Coppola went through, Gilliam had it easy.
posted by Ritchie at 3:49 AM on November 29, 2011


Which, by the way, why isn't that guy working?

Dude. SHOW. GIRLS.

There's no comparison, that guy is not in the same ballpark. No, wait, he's not even in the same league. Hell, scratch all that, he's not even playing the same sport! Have you seen Hollow Man? The height of the guys output happened in 1987.

The worst thing I've seen Gilliam do is Brothers Grimm and that wasn't half bad.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:06 AM on November 29, 2011


Compared to what Coppola went through, Gilliam had it easy.

Coppola had his youth and the backing to spare. Gilliam didn't.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:13 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


>Which, by the way, why isn't that guy working?<

Because he's among the worst popular filmmakers ever, my least favorite. I hated everything he ever made, except Robocop. I don’t really remember Robocop but it probably sucks too, I just haven’t seen it since it was new.
posted by bongo_x at 8:07 AM on November 29, 2011


Robocop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers are three movies I really enjoyed. I put them up there with my favourites. They were skillfully done and fun to watch, and then they stayed in my head -- had me questioning what I'd seen. He reminds me of an old school 'B' movie director. Sneaking ideas into his schlock.

he's among the worst popular filmmakers ever

Wow. We sure differ there.
posted by Trochanter at 9:02 AM on November 29, 2011


Yeah, Starship Troopers is one of my favorite films ever. In many ways it's similar to Inglorious Basterds, using pulp tropes to look at the desires and anxieties of the audience that's watching it.
posted by codacorolla at 9:25 AM on November 29, 2011


People ragging on Paul Verhoeven have clearly not seen Soldier of Orange.

We don't have to hate Verhoeven to like Gilliam.
posted by artlung at 9:25 AM on November 29, 2011


pulp tropes to look at the desires and anxieties of the audience that's watching it.

Meh, Sucker Punch got a hell of a lot closer to doing that than Starship Troopers did. Personally, I don't think either of those films are that good. Entertaining? Sure. Good? Not really.

We don't have to hate Verhoeven to like Gilliam.

Uhm, if someone attempts to talk about a 2nd rate director in a thread about one of the greatest directors around, then yeah sorry but he's going to catch some hate. And if you seriously want to do the math on this then consider not just "hey, he did that one film I like therefore he's really good", but try to scale it in context of all of their own output and other directors' work.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:50 AM on November 29, 2011


Meh, Sucker Punch got a hell of a lot closer to doing that than Starship Troopers did. Personally, I don't think either of those films are that good. Entertaining? Sure. Good? Not really.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.
posted by codacorolla at 10:26 AM on November 29, 2011


I think there is a fair amount of people who would disagree with at least one part of my comment. Snyder is probably not a fair comparison. Maybe Shyamalan. You can follow certain lines throughout his work that reflect qualities, or more to the point - lack thereof, about him and the same goes for Verhoeven. You could point out all kinds of faults about both of those directors by looking at their works in a larger context. Same goes for Kevin Smith, Richard Kelly, etc..
You can't do that with Gilliam, not without difficulty. That is what makes him a great director. It wasn't because of a one-off he got lucky with that has found cult status.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:47 PM on November 29, 2011


It is ultra sad that Gilliam can't continually make movies. I mean, there's a very real possibility that PARNASSUS might be the last full length feature film he ever makes (I'm not holding my breath for QUIXOTE to move forward). Terry-fucking-Gilliam has completed only three feature films in the last thirteen years.

The whole argument that his movies cost a lot is dead because TIDELAND did not cost a lot, and like it or loathe it I think it's hard to argue that it's not an earnest attempt to make a thought-provoking piece of cinematic art.

This makes me sad panda so hard.
posted by TheManChild2000 at 3:46 PM on November 29, 2011


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