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Terry Gilliam

Birthdate: 22. November 1940

Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor, comedian and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe.

Gilliam has directed 12 feature films, including Time Bandits , Brazil , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , 12 Monkeys , Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas , and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus . The only "Python" not born in Britain, he became a naturalised British subject in 1968 and formally renounced his American citizenship in 2006.

Gilliam was born in Minnesota, but spent his high school and college years in Los Angeles. He started his career as an animator and strip cartoonist. He joined Monty Python as the animator of their works, but eventually became a full member and was given acting roles. He became a feature film director in the 1970s. Most of his films explore the theme of imagination and its importance to life, express his opposition to bureaucracy and authoritarianism, and feature characters facing dark or paranoid situations. His own scripts feature black comedy and tragicomedy elements, combined with surprise endings.

„Well, I really want to encourage a kind of fantasy, a kind of magic. I love the term magic realism, whoever invented it — I do actually like it because it says certain things. It's about expanding how you see the world.“

—  Terry Gilliam

As quoted in "Salman Rushdie talks with Terry Gilliam", in The Believer (March 2003) http://www.believermag.com/issues/200303/?read=interview_gilliam
Context: Well, I really want to encourage a kind of fantasy, a kind of magic. I love the term magic realism, whoever invented it — I do actually like it because it says certain things. It's about expanding how you see the world. I think we live in an age where we're just hammered, hammered to think this is what the world is. Television's saying, everything's saying "That's the world." And it's not the world. The world is a million possible things.

„And it always seems to stick in one's mind more than reality does.“

—  Terry Gilliam

As quoted in "Terry Gilliam reflects to Dreams about the making of Dr Parnassus" by Phil Stubbs http://www.smart.co.uk/dreams/parntgrf.htm
Context: We read Dover Books, because you can steal from them. The medieval imagery and iconography is so good for the imagination. Trying to describe the world, trying to describe the cosmos, trying to put it down in neat orderly fashion, unlike reality. And it always seems to stick in one's mind more than reality does.

„Everyone gossips on television; it's all so trivial and it's impossible to hear anything.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: I am quite bored nowadays. I don't know if it's age and the fact that I have seen so many things and am less surprised, or whether the problem is truly the content. But things have been repeating themselves for 30-40 years already. It seems to me that there is no desire to push the envelope or even to peek there. People are afraid. In the 1960s and 1970s we pushed the limits farther. More attention was paid to what was going on around.
Television and the media are everywhere and they are taking over so powerfully. They don't shut up for a second. So you are unable to think. It is very difficult to think independently when you are surrounded by all that noise. What I most aspire to is to be alone. Not lonely, but alone. To stop all this noise. That is what I do when I go to Umbria. There is no television there, no telephone.
The situation is especially serious with television. The money is dispersed among hundreds of stations so that no money is left for good things. In our time there was far greater depth. Not everything is artificial and as cheap as possible. Everyone gossips on television; it's all so trivial and it's impossible to hear anything.

„Television and the media are everywhere and they are taking over so powerfully. They don't shut up for a second. So you are unable to think.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: I am quite bored nowadays. I don't know if it's age and the fact that I have seen so many things and am less surprised, or whether the problem is truly the content. But things have been repeating themselves for 30-40 years already. It seems to me that there is no desire to push the envelope or even to peek there. People are afraid. In the 1960s and 1970s we pushed the limits farther. More attention was paid to what was going on around.
Television and the media are everywhere and they are taking over so powerfully. They don't shut up for a second. So you are unable to think. It is very difficult to think independently when you are surrounded by all that noise. What I most aspire to is to be alone. Not lonely, but alone. To stop all this noise. That is what I do when I go to Umbria. There is no television there, no telephone.
The situation is especially serious with television. The money is dispersed among hundreds of stations so that no money is left for good things. In our time there was far greater depth. Not everything is artificial and as cheap as possible. Everyone gossips on television; it's all so trivial and it's impossible to hear anything.

„And we were lucky because we have a magic mirror in this movie. Not every movie has a magic mirror.“

—  Terry Gilliam

On Heath Ledger's death in January 2008, as quoted in Terry Gilliam on Heath Ledger’s death and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (14 May 2008) http://cma.staging-thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/film/article2431428.ece
Context: We were devastated. We spent the whole day — Amy Gilliam, Nicola Pecorini, the director of photography, and myself — lying flat on the floor. Heath Ledger's dead, and you don't quite get over that. I suppose I'm in an interesting position because while I'm cutting the film I'm basically working with him every day and he's fine; he's in good shape. Ideas are floating around. Then finally we decided, 'OK, let's get three other people to take over the part'. And we were lucky because we have a magic mirror in this movie. Not every movie has a magic mirror. So you can very genuinely say that these other actors are different aspects of the character that Heath plays. And it works. The point was, we've got to keep going. It was a bit like half being there, but apparently on autopilot I can still do a few things.

„I like the Coen brothers. Their films are smart and disturbing.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: I like the Coen brothers. Their films are smart and disturbing. I am very impressed by what George Clooney is doing now. He is very political. I like the fact that he did Oceans Eleven and Oceans Twelve, made all that money and then leveraged the money and his success into interesting projects. Johnny Depp has also set up a production company and is showing an interest in risky projects that will not be easy.
I am sorry that it is hard for the average person, and even for an above-average person, to see a film that is not a Hollywood production. You see those films only in the festivals. There are few people there. That is worrying. People don't think. My goal in work is to make them think. The media do the opposite.

„The medieval imagery and iconography is so good for the imagination.“

—  Terry Gilliam

As quoted in "Terry Gilliam reflects to Dreams about the making of Dr Parnassus" by Phil Stubbs http://www.smart.co.uk/dreams/parntgrf.htm
Context: We read Dover Books, because you can steal from them. The medieval imagery and iconography is so good for the imagination. Trying to describe the world, trying to describe the cosmos, trying to put it down in neat orderly fashion, unlike reality. And it always seems to stick in one's mind more than reality does.

„In the end, people have to learn to live together.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: In the end, people have to learn to live together. That is what I didn't like about America — it is so homogeneous. I like places where there are people who are different culturally, physically, in every way. And I like to see how they succeed in living together.

„I like places where there are people who are different culturally, physically, in every way. And I like to see how they succeed in living together.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: In the end, people have to learn to live together. That is what I didn't like about America — it is so homogeneous. I like places where there are people who are different culturally, physically, in every way. And I like to see how they succeed in living together.

„People don't think. My goal in work is to make them think. The media do the opposite.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: I like the Coen brothers. Their films are smart and disturbing. I am very impressed by what George Clooney is doing now. He is very political. I like the fact that he did Oceans Eleven and Oceans Twelve, made all that money and then leveraged the money and his success into interesting projects. Johnny Depp has also set up a production company and is showing an interest in risky projects that will not be easy.
I am sorry that it is hard for the average person, and even for an above-average person, to see a film that is not a Hollywood production. You see those films only in the festivals. There are few people there. That is worrying. People don't think. My goal in work is to make them think. The media do the opposite.

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„Everything has become too political and it is ludicrous.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: I went to university on a scholarship that was funded by a church. I was on the way to becoming a Presbyterian missionary. In the end I left school. The reason was that I used to tell jokes about God and the people around me did not like the jokes. I asked them, What kind of God is this who can't cope with my lousy jokes? What kind of God feels threatened by these jokes? So I left. And the truth is that this is exactly what I have to say about the present situation. Everything has become too political and it is ludicrous. I understand why they are upset, but it has reached an absurd pass and the Muslims are only hurting themselves.

„People are afraid. In the 1960s and 1970s we pushed the limits farther.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Context: I am quite bored nowadays. I don't know if it's age and the fact that I have seen so many things and am less surprised, or whether the problem is truly the content. But things have been repeating themselves for 30-40 years already. It seems to me that there is no desire to push the envelope or even to peek there. People are afraid. In the 1960s and 1970s we pushed the limits farther. More attention was paid to what was going on around.
Television and the media are everywhere and they are taking over so powerfully. They don't shut up for a second. So you are unable to think. It is very difficult to think independently when you are surrounded by all that noise. What I most aspire to is to be alone. Not lonely, but alone. To stop all this noise. That is what I do when I go to Umbria. There is no television there, no telephone.
The situation is especially serious with television. The money is dispersed among hundreds of stations so that no money is left for good things. In our time there was far greater depth. Not everything is artificial and as cheap as possible. Everyone gossips on television; it's all so trivial and it's impossible to hear anything.

„The Brothers Grimm came along and I was so desperate for work … Actually I've got to say that I like the movie, I won't apologize for it.“

—  Terry Gilliam

Interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbz3EFmYmJM at the NY Museum of the Moving Image in October 2006.

„It's an abominable place. If there was an Old Testamental God, he would do his job and wipe the place out. The only bad thing is that some really good restaurants would go up as well.“

—  Terry Gilliam

About Hollywood. As quoted in the New York Times article Terry Gilliam's Feel-Good Endings http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/14/movies/14mcgr.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=terrygilliam (14 August 2005)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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