12 Things We Learned From Terry Gilliam’s Wild Memoir
3. The “violence” in his Python animations came from a primal place
After proving himself as an animator at the behest of Eric Idle on the pre-Python show Do Not Adjust Your Set, Terry Jones suggested Gilliam create animations as interstitial elements on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Over time, he developed his “Gilliamesque” style; the herky-jerky nature of his between-skit bits was a byproduct of the fact that they had to crank out so many episodes. In the book, he writes about how the other troupe members were “incredibly precise in their verbosity” while his boorish American attitude stood out in the group. “Some of the violence in my Monty Python animations would come from my frustration at not being able to express myself as clearly as everyone else, and some of it evolved naturally from the limitations of the technique itself,” he wrote.
4. Stanley Kubrick wanted to work with Gilliam on A Clockwork Orange and The Shining
The filmmaker sent Gilliam a note asking for an animated title sequence for A Clockwork Orange, but the deadline was too short for him to get it done. Similarly, Kubrick approached the Python to help him find an art director for The Shining. But because the director’s request came with untenable specifications – he wanted “a perfectly realized set drawn in something like 15 minutes,” Gilliam wrote – the animator was unable to help the man he described as his “Paths of Glory hero.”
5. Gilliam turned down the opportunity to make a Beatles-themed movie for Jabberwocky
A producer asked him to work on a musical film called All This and World War III, which was “going to use a lot of Beatles songs.” Although Gilliam loved the band, he instead convinced the producer to help him make his solo directorial debut, 1977’s Jabberwocky.
6. A Beatle helped make Monty Python’s Life of Brian
George Harrison was a massive Monty Python fan who could recite each sketch by heart, eventually befriending Eric Idle. When EMI pulled the financing for Life of Brian, Idle asked the musician for financial help — to which the former Beatle merely replied “done.” “And that was it,” as Gilliam wrote. The film served as the first feature to be produced by the Harrison’s HandMade Films company, which would later be responsible for Gilliam’s Time Bandits.
7. Brazil’s plastic surgeon was inspired by an experience Gilliam’s father had
Brazil’s cosmetic surgeon Dr. Chapman, played by Time Bandits and Munchausen actor Jack Purvis, uses acid as his instrument. In Gilliamesque, the filmmaker explains that the idea came from seeing his father endure a similar operation. “In the late Seventies, my dad had been through a nightmarish experience when a patch of skin cancer was discovered on his ear and a highly recommended surgeon applied acid to it, then put a compress over the top and advised him to go sit outside in the park for an hour or two while the acid worked its magic,” he wrote. “By the time my dad came back into the surgery, the very edge of his ear was still there, but the whole lobe had been eaten away.”
Crypto Crackdown: SEC Charges Coinbase After Going After Binance
- Tales From the Crypto