January 4, 1996 |
When director Terry Gilliam arrived in Philadelphia with his video camera to scout locations for "12 Monkeys," he didn't worry about being stopped on the street. He isn't exactly a Hollywood celebrity. Gilliam's movies have never been blockbusters, and his last picture, "The Fisher King," was released four years ago. Only devout fans of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" would recognize Gilliam, who drew cartoons for the BBC program and made a few cameo appearances. Which is why he freaked out when he walked into the atrium of the former Wanamaker's department store and the giant pipe organ began to blast the theme music for "Monty Python.
August 13, 2014
ROBIN WILLIAMS' death, reportedly by suicide, brings the life of a prodigious talent to an abrupt end, although one that does not come as an utter surprise: There was always something about Williams' flaring, meteoric presence that seemed like it might not survive re-entry. And maybe the feeling of watching him on that edge contributed to the thrill of watching him perform. This goes beyond the actor-comedian's well-documented (often by himself in stand-up acts) struggles with drugs - he'd checked himself into rehab as recently as July 1, and was found yesterday in his California home, reportedly dead of asphyxiation at 63. Williams' calling card was a kind of crazed volatility, built around a genius for stream-of-consciousness improvisation.
February 7, 1986 |
Cautionary tales about political nightmare states of the future are usually such grim affairs, so packed with dread, that they are awful to endure. Former Monty Python trouper Terry Gilliam has circumvented that problem in a fairly bizarre way with Brazil - as macabre, intricate, richly imagined and ultimately pointless a comedy as we've seen in years. Gilliam was the Python member responsible for the weird animated sequences that punctuated the group's television series, though he also appeared in small roles in some of their films.
December 15, 2006 |
The macabre, madhouse animation that Terry Gilliam perpetrated as a member of Monty Python turns live-action and weirder still in Tideland, a mix of Alice in Wonderland and William S. Burroughs, Psycho and the psychotic. It's pretty much a squirmy experience all around. Gilliam, in interviews, has said that his wee pet project - made during the unplanned production hiatus of The Brothers Grimm, and starring the Keane-eyed child actress Jodelle Ferland - is about the resiliency of kids, and that it requires the letting go of learned adult experience to really get it. Well, good luck.
December 12, 1986 |
Terry Gilliam's strange Time Bandits movie is tonight's late highlight, and viewers with Showtime can precede that offering with Gilliam's even stranger Brazil. EVENING HIGHLIGHTS A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (8 p.m., Ch. 10) - This first TV Peanuts special, now two decades old, remains unsurpassed. Its static animation is the perfect video counterpart to Charles Schulz's hasty scribbles. Charlie Brown's angst about the commercialism of Christmas is perfectly in tune with his character - and, unfortunately, still in tune with what's happening, on television and off. Wonderful jazz score by Vince Guaraldi.
July 7, 2013 |
LONDON - A producer on Friday won a British court victory over Monty Python for a bigger share of royalties from the stage musical Spamalot and said that despite the dispute he still found the comedy troupe funny. Mark Forstater brought a High Court lawsuit against the anarchic comedians over the show, which is based on the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail . Forstater produced the film, and his lawyers claimed it was agreed that he would be "treated as the seventh Python" financially, entitled to the same share of Holy Grail merchandising and spin-off income as the other members.
September 5, 2007 |
In 1969 Michael Palin quit smoking, a pastime he was quite fond of, through sheer willpower. Having achieved a victory for mind over matter, Palin decided to raise the stakes - he would keep a diary for the next 10 years come hell or high water. Fortuitously the decade he chose to document would see the rise and fall and return of Monty Python's Flying Circus. In clean, dispassionate prose spanning 650 pages, Palin documents the trials and tribulations of the daring, off-the-wall comedy ensemble from humble-but-edgy beginnings (the name Flying Circus was foisted on the lads by the bullying BBC)
January 8, 2010 |
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is vintage Terry Gilliam, a pour not to all tastes but one certain to please lovers of Time Bandits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Kaleidoscope meets calliope in this trippy fantasy set to circus music and among a scruffy family of carny figures who bridge medieval and modern worlds. Doctor Parnassus (the grizzled Christopher Plummer, resembling a cross between prophet and panhandler) is the tale's first ringmaster, an ancient Faust who solicits customers to venture through the looking glass.
August 26, 2005 |
Of course, The Brothers Grimm begins with a "Once upon a time. . . . " And of course, Terry Gilliam's madcap imaginings about the pre-writer days of the German fabulists are chock-full of fairy-tale elements: magic beans, an enchanted toad, a gingerbread boy, a little girl in red stalked by a wolf, you name it. But in many ways, this early-19th-century yarn is of a piece with the onetime Monty Python director's more modern fare: Twelve Monkeys, The...
May 19, 1995 |
Joey Melito's hardest day of shooting for the forthcoming Bruce Willis thriller, Twelve Monkeys, came Saturday, when he traveled to Baltimore to do the car scene. "I was in a Ford Taurus," Melito, 10, recalled. "It was hot, and there was no air conditioning, no windows down. Nothing. " To make matters worse, he said, he had to wear heavy clothes "because it was supposed to be winter. " After a day of takes and retakes, Melito made it home to Upper Darby without melting.