The screenwriter, innovative animator, highly acclaimed visionary film director, and only non-British member of Monty Python offers an intimate glimpse into his world in this fascinating memoir illustrated with hand-drawn sketches, notes, and memorabilia from his personal archive.
From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Hollywood had to offer, via the cutting edge of 1960s and ’70s counter-culture in New York, L.A. and London, Terry Gilliam’s life has been as vivid, entertaining and unorthodox as one of his films.
Telling his story for the first time, the director of Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas—not to mention co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus—recalls his life so far. Packed with never-before-seen artwork, photographs and commentary, Gilliamesque blends the visual and the verbal with scabrous wit and fascinating insight.
Gilliam’s “pre-posthumous memoir” also features a cast of amazing supporting characters—George Harrison, Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger and all of the fellow Pythons—as well as cameo appearances from some of the heaviest cultural hitters of modern times, from Woody Allen to Frank Zappa, Gloria Steinem to Robert Crumb, Richard Nixon to Hunter S. Thompson. Gilliam’s encounters with the great and the not-so-good are revealing, funny, and hugely entertaining.
This book is an unrestrained look into a unique creative mind and an incomparable portrait of late twentieth-century popular culture.
Gilliam, the former Monty Python animator and director of Time Bandits, Baron Munchausen, and other fantasias, describes a life spent confounding authority in this acerbic memoir. Gilliam's picaresque tale breezes from his Vietnam-era period as an underground cartoonist dodging service in the National Guard to the surreal silliness of the Monty Python comedy troupe. tHe cheerfully allows that his films were marked by his "amazing ability never to learn to do anything properly." Along the way, he defies hierarchs of all kinds: network censors, studio chiefs bent on re-cuts, and church officials enraged by the blasphemous gospel spoof Life of Brian. Baffled by thespians ("Where an actor has got upset... I just try to get in there and look understanding as if I'm doing something to make it better when really I don't have a clue"), Gilliam is an art-director's director his masterpiece Brazil may be cinema's greatest visual critique of the totalitarian state and his accounts of integrating images, sets, d cor, costumes, and monster-models, illustrated with his own sketches and hand-drawn storyboards, are fascinating. Amid the gleeful potshots at dictators and divas ("How long it was since he had actually done anything great," he writes of a tantrum-throwing Hunter S. Thompson), Gilliam shows us how prosaic attention to craft can gel into art. Photos.