Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gilliam on Gilliam

While visiting Don Hertzfeldt's home durinf SXSW, I was able to peruse his bookshelf, and what a magnificent bookshelf it was!
One book caught my eye, “Gilliam on Gilliam”, edited by Ian Christie by Faber and Faber. The book is a bit dated, 1999, so I missed his comments on his more recent films, but it's a fascinating look at his early years in NYC and London.
One fascinating chapter is about his relationship with the great Harvey Kurtzman. Since I knew Harvey somewhat, it was very cool to hear his thoughts on the great Mad Magazine creator.
Also it was fun hearing his beginnings with the mighty “Monty Python”, and his move onto directing features.
Since Terry and I have become long distance friends recently (he wrote a fantastic introduction to my new Rizzoli book, “Independently Animated, Bill Plympton”), it's interesting to see the same battles he has with raising money and getting distribution that I have, and I certainly can identify with his troubles with Hollywood.
The only real downside is strident anti-Americanism, but the rest is a pure joy-- one of those books where you look to the end of the book hoping to find lots more fun pages to read before it ends.
“Brazil” and “Time Bandit” are two of my all-time favorite films and now that I've read the inside story, I wan to go back and watch the films again with my new perspective.
I rate the book an A, and Terry Gilliam an A+.

1 comment:

  1. I love Gilliam's works, though I thought Parnassus struggled a lot story-wise. 12 Monkeys is probably his most solid I've seen yet, but my favorite will always be Baron Munchausen =) Didn't know about his anti-Americanism side...might have to pick this book up sometime.