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Poll

Your Favorite Terry Gilliam Film Is:

Jabberwocky
0 (0%)
Time Bandits
5 (7.7%)
Brazil
28 (43.1%)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
3 (4.6%)
The Fisher King
7 (10.8%)
Twelve Monkeys
11 (16.9%)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
6 (9.2%)
The Brothers Grimm
0 (0%)
Tideland
2 (3.1%)
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
2 (3.1%)
The Zero Theorem
1 (1.5%)
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
0 (0%)
other
0 (0%)
haven't seen any
0 (0%)
don't like any
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 64

Author Topic: Gilliam, Terry  (Read 7079 times)

jascook

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2014, 12:46:34 AM »
The Fisher King: 8/10
Time Bandits: 7/10
12 Monkeys: 7/10
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 10:12:36 PM by jascook »
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Junior

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2014, 11:13:32 AM »
For posterity, plus a ranking.

The Zero Theorem (read it with pictures at Benefits of a Classical Education).

Terry Gilliam is one of the most insane directors we have currently working. There's nothing he won't do, it seems, and every movie feels like an effort to top himself. Sometimes that creates greatness (12 Monkeys, Brazil, parts of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus) and sometimes that way leads to madness (the little of Tideland I could watch, and parts of The Fisher King). Say what you will about the actual quality of his films, he rarely holds himself back. The Zero Theorem, his first movie in five years, is no exception as he gets as philosophical as he has ever been when he ponders the meaning of life and what happens if everything is nothing.

Of course, a bunch of movies have these kinds of questions in mind, but they hardly ever have the pluck or sense of humor that Gilliam at his best brings to a film. I know it's probably blasphemous to say this, but The Zero Theorem might be his best work. I'm probably super biased, as I love these psychobabble movies, but I can't deny that the movie really really worked for (on?) me. A large part of that credit goes towards the story, written by Pat Rushin, which constantly straddles the line between comprehensibility and insanity, between profundity and pretentiousness, between mundanity and exoticness. It's a delightful script, too, as it allows Gilliam his usual playful exuberances visually and tonally. Although the film is pondering the Deep Thought-type questions of the universe, Gilliam and Rushin never allow it to get too serious. The actors, led by Christoph Waltz who proves for the first time that he can carry an entire movie on his back, perform their own silliness extremely well. It must be difficult to get all of these ideas, both intellectual and emotional, across while not delving into parody or archness, and from David Thewlis as a hapless middle manager to Lucas Hedges as a hardware whiz-kid to Matt Damon as the possibly malicious corporate head with a chameleon wardrobe, all the actors are wonderful. A special mention must go to Mlanie Thierry, who performs her semi-Manic Pixie Dream Girl role as admirably and charmingly as such a role has ever been played. She's delightful.

If this all ended poorly, it might be an interesting failure. It would join Tideland as one of those movies which has its supporters but never found the success it deserves. Heck, I might very well be one of those crazies shouting from the hilltops about its glory. But damn, does it stick the landing. There's a lot going on in this movie, and some of it involves some complex-ish literary theory to grasp fully, but suffice it to say that it revolves around the author's we and performative utterances, plus some Bible knowledge (thanks Wikipedia!) and some heavy lifting. I guess The Zero Theorem probably won't be a huge hit, and it is very likely going to divide audiences with its deliberate insanity which masks the film's loftier intentions. I really fell for it.

10/10.

Also, I'm pretty sure Tilda Swinton filmed her part during her days off from Snowpiercer. Same teeth!

1. The Zero Theorem
2. 12 Monkeys
3. Brazil

4. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasssus
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

6. The Fisher King
7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

8. The Brothers Grimm
9. Tideland (NF)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 12:42:26 PM by Junior »
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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2014, 12:39:17 PM »
Color me intrigued, Junior! Definitely will be checking this one out.

Btw, where does Imaginarium fall in this line-up for you?

Quote
1. The Zero Theorem
2. 12 Monkeys
3. Brazil

4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
5. The Fisher King
6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

7. The Brothers Grimm
8. Tideland (NF)

Junior

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2014, 12:41:41 PM »
Color me intrigued, Junior! Definitely will be checking this one out.

Btw, where does Imaginarium fall in this line-up for you?

Quote
1. The Zero Theorem
2. 12 Monkeys
3. Brazil

4. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasssus
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

6. The Fisher King
7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

8. The Brothers Grimm
9. Tideland (NF)

Dammit! I knew I forgot one. The answer is, just above Holy Grail.
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oneaprilday

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2014, 01:11:01 PM »
Nice. :) I like it, too!

Junior

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2014, 01:14:54 PM »
It's a fun one. Unfortunate circumstance, but a clever workaround that actually works quite well.
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JakeIsntFake

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2014, 03:55:13 PM »
just above Holy Grail.

You have two more uses of this phrase left.
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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #47 on: September 11, 2014, 12:56:36 AM »
The Zero Theorem
* *

Back when Terry Gilliam was one of my favorite directors, he had a visual imagination that movies could only try to create. You see in Brazil and Baron Munchausen, a filmmaker reaching the ceiling of what was technologically possible and deciding to dance on it. Computer generated effects ripped off that ceiling, quickly surpassing anything Gilliam would think up. He had a rougher go of it than most because his production troubles would show themselves in weak effects (Brothers Grimm), and in allowing his imagination to go bigger, he left me behind.

I got the satirical aspects of Brazil and 12 Monkeys but The Zero Theorem is imagination overload. Take the above image. I can hear the director ranting on the commentary like a grumpy old man about the absurdity of things you can't do in a park anymore. How parks used to be grassy, but are now fields of cement. This film contains similar jabs at advertising, fashion, work desks and just the general noise of life. It's all interesting, but it's more of a distraction than something that ties into the story. A kitchen sink, no matter how great, has no business being in a living room.  It's Gilliam taking another crack at Brazil now that he's had 30 more years of progress. (BTW, the basic story has quite a bit in common with Brazil as well as Prometheus, with a final scene that could be that film's opening.)

It could also be that my tastes have changed. That what was once interesting chaos has become too much noise. I see Gilliam like Baz Luhrmann, with an ADD opening third before settling and allowing some emotional content to sneak in. The film does get better, and the ending is actually pretty great. It makes some direct philosophical points that bring meaning to the vague task given to Christoph Waltz's character. 

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #48 on: September 11, 2014, 01:01:45 AM »
I knew I was going to be nearly alone with my love for this one. The philosophical ideas intrigued me way more than the trite societal commentary. I mostly ignored all of that junk since I had already seen it in Brazil. At least it looks cool, right?
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Re: Directors Best Poll - Terry Gilliam
« Reply #49 on: September 11, 2014, 08:30:55 AM »
It has a definite look to it and it's obvious a lot of thought went into it. I like the contrast between reality and the clean, artificial look of the beach scenes.