FILM ] BIOGRAPHY
This collection of interviews with the renowned filmmaker,
animator, artist, and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe
covers the phases of his career from his early work as a cartoonist
and animator through his most recent and most difficult
Among many subjects, Gilliam discusses his formative years as an
artist and humor-magazine cartoonist, his move from the United
States to England, his entry into British television, and his
success as resident animator for the "Monty Python's Flying Circus"
As co-director of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and as
director of "Jabberwocky" Gilliam made his advent as a maker of
feature films, followed by such popular movies as "Time Bandits"
and "The Fisher King." A mixture of critical acclaim and
film-studio animosity greeted his epic "Brazil." Gilliam discusses
all these, as well as the damage "The Adventures of Baron
Munchausen" did to his career and the disasters that plagued his
attempt to film a time-travel comedy called "The Man Who Killed Don
Quixote" after the commercial disappointment of his unexpectedly
acerbic "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
In his conversations with a diverse array of interviewers
Gilliam talks about an eclectic succession of topics, including his
idiosyncratic tastes in painting and architecture, his fascination
with the art and history of medieval Europe, his outspoken
hostility for the commercial film industry, his views on comedy,
fantasy, and film, and his philosophical perspectives on
"I like the idea," he says, "of actual demons sucking your
brains out--envy and greed, these things being tangible. It's
somehow on a common level, a more sensible way of dealing with the
world. . . ."
David Sterritt is film critic for the "Christian Science
Monitor" and a professor of theater and film at Long Island
University and Columbia University. He is the editor of "Robert
Altman: Interviews" and "Jean-Luc Godard: Interviews" (both
published by the University Press of Mississippi).
Lucille Rhodes, an independent filmmaker who lives in New York
City, is a retired professor of film at Long Island
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