Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam

 

Terrence Vance “Terry” Gilliam (born 22 November 1940) is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Brazil (1985), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), and 12 Monkeys (1995). The only “Python” not born in Britain, he took British citizenship in 1968.

 

Trade Mark

Was first known for the bizarre animation sequences in “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” (1969) using cutout pictures and photographs.

Heroes in his films often dream of a woman who they have not yet met, but will meet during the course of the film. In the dream, the woman’s face is obscured.

Often features people/animals bursting through walls or ceilings

Often begins and ends his films with the same shot

Heavy use of wide angle lenses

[Television monitors] They were in Brazil (1985), Twelve Monkeys (1995), The Fisher King (1991), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and Time Bandits (1981).

Dutch tilt shots

Frequently casts Jonathan Pryce, Katherine Helmond,Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges, Christopher Plummer, Peter Stormare and Tom Waits.

 

Trivia

Founding editor of and principal contributor to campus humor magazine, “Fang”, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA in the early 1960s.

He started to direct “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” in 2001 (in Spain) with Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis and Jean Rochefort but the shooting was unfortunately stopped a couple of days after it started because of Jean Rochefort’s health problems (he couldn’t ride a horse any more). But Terry Gilliam said that he won’t give up and that he will try again later because he dreams about making this movie!

During the filming of Brazil (1985) he became so stressed that he temporarily lost the use of his legs, which only returned to normal several weeks later.

Has taken British citizenship.

Father of Amy Gilliam, Holly DuBois Gilliam and Harry Gilliam.

J.K. Rowling, creator of the “Harry Potter” book series, originally wanted Gilliam to direct Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), but Warner Brothers studios wanted a more family friendly film and eventually settled for Chris Columbus.

Turned down the opportunity to direct Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Enemy Mine (1985), and Forrest Gump (1994) and Alien: Resurrection (1997).

Has been off and on to write and direct a movie adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s graphic novel “Watchmen.” Gilliam has said he attempted to write an accurate screenplay but it would be unfilmable, but he would consider directing it if it were made into 10 or 12-part cable television series.

Was slated to direct an adaptation of the novel “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The project languished in development for three years before finally being abandoned.

Directed a series of TV ads for Nike in 2001. They were part of The Scorpion Knockout Campaign, which featured some of the best soccer players on the globe. That campaign went to win a Cannes award in 2002, in the category of Best TV Campaign.

Also turned down directing Braveheart (1995), when briefly solicited by Mel Gibson to direct an abandoned film version of Charles Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities”.

Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001.

Raised in Los Angeles.

He did not originally intend to cast Sean Connery as King Agamemnon in Time Bandits (1981), he merely wrote in the screenplay that when Agamemnon took off his helmet that he looked “exactly like Sean Connery.” To Gilliam’s surprise, the script found its way into Connery’s hands and Connery subsequently expressed interest in doing the film.

Born in Minnesota, he is the only non-British member of the Monty Python comedy troupe

The Fisher King (1991) was the first film that he directed in which he was not involved in writing the screenplay.

He and John Cleese are the only members of ‘Monty Python’ to be nominated for Oscars. Coincidentally, they were both for Best Original Screenplay, Gilliam for Brazil (1985) and Cleese for A Fish Called Wanda (1988). Both screenplays did not win their Oscars, and both films featured Michael Palin.

Gave up his US citizenship in January 2006. [source: Haaretz interview, Feb. 2006].

Was offered the chance to direct Troy (2004). He stopped reading the script 5 pages in and declined the offer.

Is a fan of science fiction author _Philip K. Dick_.

Member of the comedy group “Monty Python” along with John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman. Gilliam also created the animations.

Four of his films are in the Criterion Collection – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The Fisher King (1991), Brazil (1985), and Time Bandits (1981).

As of 2010, has directed three actors in Oscar-nominated roles; Brad Pitt (Twelve Monkeys (1995)), Robin Williams, and Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King (1991)). Ruehl won her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

 

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