Talk:Terry Gilliam

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Gilliam's Brazil is known among cineastes as a drastic example of things that can go wrong when a director doesn't have [final cut]? and the studio steps in to "take control" of a situation it sees as spiralling out of control

It's not a drastic example because Gilliam got what he wanted while most directors don't. It's nonetheless very telling, because the Battle of Brazil is aptly documented. Is there a better expression? --Yooden

Gilliam did not get what he wanted at first; for awhile the only version available was the studio version. The same is true with Blade Runner (Ridley Scott), btw, which has just recently been rereleased in a Director's Cut which has a darker ending and an interesting dream sequence (& Mr. Scott is no cheery fellow--he wanted to end Alien with Ripley's death, and have the alien calling earth somehow). But to answer your question, yes, there is probably a better way to phrase that. --KQ
The above is not true, incidentally. For a while, the picture simply was not released while the arguing continued. The first time the picture was released, it was Gilliam's cut. I'll add a little detail, though of course the details really belong in the Brazil article. Tempshill 17:08, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
IIRC the film was not released at all because of the Battle; Gilliam made clandestine previews and got some price or other (Golden Globe?) for the Final Final Cut which was subsequentially released. I can check that on the exceptional Criterion DVD tonight.
Blade Runner: "just recently"? That was ten years ago. It's also a different issue because the changes were minor and in part (voice over) a Good Thing. (The Deckard=Replicant thing was not new either.) I disgress...
Anyway, The discussion which version of a film is 'valid' is worth a page on its own, but I don't have the time and can't think of a name. --Yooden
KQ- I'm a big fan of Brazil, but I've never heard about the Gilliam's studio battles. Could you provide a few links, or ever a write-up? --Eventi
I'm a big fan of Brazil
You should most definitively get the Criterion Collection DVD. It has the European cut (a few minutes longer than the US Final Final Cut), lots of bonus material, including a documentary about the Battle of Brazil and the crippled version proposed by the studio (which was later shown on TV).
Checking Google even showed a book about it!
There are at least two books about it, actually; one is by Gilliam and another is not. It's been too long ago for me to do a proper writeup about it without a lot of research; I think my memories on it are slipping. What I remembered most was that the studio wanted to force a different ending on it which Gilliam considered inappropriate, but I'd rather have specific details before adding it to the main article (this studio ending was released on VHS at some point, btw; my library had a copy and I saw it in '95). Even directors with supposed "final cut" frequently are badgered into making changes--this from no less than Martin Scorsese, one of the few directors claiming final cut who does indeed have it--he reports that various studio executives would call his mother trying to persuade her to persuade him to cut the part at the end of Goodfellas where Ray Liotta gets up and walks towards the camera, talking to it, while people around him pretend not to notice. Anyway. Yes, we should definitely have an article about the phenomenon, though I don't know where to put it--maybe it would be most at home in an article on final cut? --KQ
I never even saw the studio version, but if they would have prevailed, we'd lost one of the perfect ends in the history of cinema. "He's got away from us, Jack." I'm getting excited just thinking about it.
As it is, they wanted a lot more than just the end. About 30 minutes IIRC.
Yes, final cut is fine. I never get these Wikipedia caps right: Is it supposed to be Final Cut? --Yooden
I think it's usually lowercase, unless it's part of a title or other proper noun. The point is accidental linking, though I expect the point will be moot once the new version is uploaded; it will treat all letters at the beginning of a word as a cap. --KQ

Strange coincidence or factual mixup?[edit]

Is this just a coincidence, or has someone gotten his children and his siblings mixed up?:

"Gilliam has two siblings: a sister two years younger, and a brother ten years younger.... three children, Amy (b. 1978), Holly (b. 1980), and Harry (b. 1988)"

So his first born child has a sister two years younger and a brother ten years younger, just like her father? Are we absolutely certain that this information is correct?! It seems quite a big coincidence. Omgplz (talk) 18:33, 25 July 2008 (UTC)


Would it not be a better idea to describe him as "British-American", since he took British citizenship, and resided in Britain for so long? Also, many of his films (eg Brazil) are known as British, rather than American productions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Thats true...but his British films really only take a very small part of his career, and even then are mostly at the beginning. The subject of his nationality is a little tricky. Since he is still an American citizen (and considers himself an American) calling him British is doing him a bit of a disservice...he doesnt hate America, just what America has become.-s8ntmark
Pfft...there's no difference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, August 30, 2007 (UTC)
"American-born British" is the correct description now, as he gave up his US citizenship earlier this year. -- Arwel (talk) 14:03, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Excellent reworking of the citizenship detail...whoever did it :) Heres a great interview that Gilliam had with Salman Rushdie it has really good details
I've reworked the lead to reflect the citizenship. I've based it on the version that was more-or-less stable in January 2006. That one held for a while before being gradually whittled away. --Ckatzchatspy 00:22, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

"Since he is still an American citizen (and considers himself an American) calling him British is doing him a bit of a disservice.." I'm afraid Gilliam rejected this on British Film Forever and spoke of having given up US citizenship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps the correct term would be "American expatriate"....? Highonhendrix (talk) 08:20, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

He stated in the Onion AV Club interview that he renounced his American citizenship b/c he generally lives in England and wanted to lower his taxation. The Der Spiegel quote was obvious pandering to German anti-American sentiment. If one is mentioned both must be mentioned for objectivity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Ah, let the traitor be called what he wants. Putting "American Born" in fronmt of British is fine. Travis T. Cleveland (talk) 15:56, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Could someone please provide more details about "As a result of renouncing his citizenship, Gilliam is only permitted to spend 30 days per year in the United States, less than ordinary British citizens." (probably as a link to some other page describing it)? This sounds like a childish "Boo hoo, if you do not want to play with us you are not welcome in our house" attitude. Seriously?? Hlovdal (talk) 08:44, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that's not related to taxes and not general admissibility-- for the ten years after renouncing US citizenship, spending more than 30 days in the US makes someone's worldwide income liable to expatriation tax [1]. This sentence should be removed or changed. Holgate (talk) 03:11, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually the DHS Secretary has the right to refuse admittance at all to anyone who renounces their US citizenship by law 8 U.S.C. § 1182. But the 30 day thing probably has to do with his being taxed by British Commonwealth, as he could still be liable for US taxation for ten years after his renouncement has been approved. Yes it has to be approved and certified by the state department. Also if as he stated that it was to relieve his wife and children of future tax liablity he might consider that by US law Section 301(g) INA his children automatically are holding dual citizenship so they could liable for taxation if they did not renounce their citizenship also. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:08, 25 December 2009 (UTC)


A resident of Minneapolis myself, I have often heard that Gilliam was one of us. Medicine Lake is cited later in the article, however as his birthplace? I don't like contradictions. ColinKennedy 17:48, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Cult filmmaker?[edit]

I think we have to add a few lines about the 'Cult'status he has: nearly all 11 films he's made are all categorised as 'Cultfilms'. He is an important director/animator and has inlfuenced many SciFi-films, however, a category 'Cultdirectors' doesn't exist... Make one? --Lord Snoeckx 15:21, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


There are two different birthdates in this article. Which one is correct?


There is indeed an animated Untitled Gorillaz Project announced for 2007 in IMDb, but nothing about Gilliam there. Can you please name your source Matt Dogg? --Hoverfish 20:10, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Fear & Loathing[edit]

Why "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is not marked as a milestone? Only financialy successful movies may be placed in the table?

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus[edit]

I have included an entry regarding the recent announcement by Terry Gilliam on Dreams [1] and with supporting links. LEX LETHAL 16:48, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

might it be at all fitting to mention the supposed "Gilliam Curse" being in play with this most recent turn of events? (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 19:53, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
No, it would not. Speculation about this so-called "curse" is unencyclopædic. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 19:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Userbox available[edit]

{{User:UBX/Terry Gilliam}}

--One Salient Oversight 01:43, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Philip K Dick[edit]

I note that there is as of yet no mention of Gilliam's love of PKD, and intent at various times to do films of the late author's works. Not the least of which was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and even more intriguingly Valis. As ever I shall provide some references to this when possible...

...unless someone else wants to in the meantime.

--Amedeo Felix 12:00, 28 July 2007 (UTC)


Half of the content in the animation section are unreferenced assertions about Gilliam's animation style being mimicked in television shows, movies, and commercials. If there are no references for any of this, it should all go. Surely more important things can be said about his animation work, and the people who have been ifluenced by same, yes? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:30, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

What's more, it appears to be repeated at least twice nearly verbatim in different sections of the article... -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 07:03, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I have removed the content I described above, and bring it here for discussion:

The style, a type of cutout animation, has been mimicked repeatedly throughout the years: the children's television cartoon Angela Anaconda, a series of television commercials for Guinness stout, the "Children's Television Sausage Factory" openings that inspired opening animator Barry Blair of Nickelodeon series You Can't Do That On Television!, John Muto's animation in Forbidden Zone, and the television history series Terry Jones' Medieval Lives.

Unless this can be referenced, it has no place in the article. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 23:17, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

In the documentary Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film (IMDB page), it is stated that Gilliam's animation is inflenced by Stan Vanderbeek's work and shows an example that looks very much like Gilliam's Python animations. This is probably worth investigating and including in the article. (talk) 07:30, 30 March 2014 (UTC)


Too lazy to see if it really is in the MOS or not. At least barely any other articles have it, it just looks bad. Besides, you never heard of WP:BRD? You added it to the article, two persons did not agree with it and you still put it back every time. Garion96 (talk) 19:07, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, I've read the entire section on the TOC, and it says nothing about TOCleft being forbidden or even discouraged. You say that it looks bad, fine. I am not positive if I like it myself. But, a reversion by two editors, one of whom made no comment whatsoever, is hardly a consensus. I would like to hear more opinions on the matter. Thank you for beginning the discussion, which I intended to do, but was distracted. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 19:29, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
You are not positive if you like it but you did add it to the article and reverted the removal twice. Again I point you to the essay Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle. Perhaps it's better to get consensus of adding it to the article instead of getting consensus of removing it. Garion96 (talk) 20:10, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


Should "Imaginarium" be included in the filmography? It hasn't been released, and there is a distinct possibility that it either never will be or could be delayed past 2009. I'd love to hear some opinions about this before doing something as rash as ripping it out. Highonhendrix (talk) 08:27, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

It should be left in. Filming is underway, and, unless and until there is evidence that the film will not be finished, it looks as though it will be finished and released on time. Let's leave it, at least for now. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:13, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


I just reverted a change from inbobox actor to infobox comedian. Neither of these is really appropriate. Is there an infobox for directors? If not, why not? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:11, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

In the lede...[edit]

The following statement in the lede is troubling, if not ridiculous: "Gilliam is known as the most creatively artistic member of Monty Python...". Oh, is he really? According to whom, if I may ask? As far as I am aware, he was the only artist in the troupe, period. The only one, as far as I am aware, with artistic training. This statement utterly useless. The fact that it is in the lede is a sad commentary on all of us. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 03:53, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

In the lede... inclusion of Time Bandits is related to 1981_in_film#Top_grossing_films_.28U.S..29. - Steve3849 talk 12:37, 28 July 2009 (UTC) P.S. With respect to Gilliam there is also this quote, "Bandits still stands up today as a bona fide classic and as Gilliam charmingly put it, it's a film that is 'intelligent enough for kids and exciting enough for adults'. With [Gilliam] confidently asserting that Parnassus is his 'best film since Time Bandits' we are all in for a treat come November." link - Steve3849 talk 13:33, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


Am I the only one who doesn't know how to pronounce his last name? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:53, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Don't know, but it's pronounced as it is spelled as far as I know. (gill-lee-am - try saying that but fast and there you have it).--Amedeo Félix (talk) 22:52, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Dr. Parnassus[edit]

The post-pro work on Dr. Parnassus is done, the film is rated, and it's been given a release date. Is it really still a "future project"? -- (talk) 02:56, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Consistant date format[edit]

Many of the dates in this article flip flop between UK and US format. Any thoughts on the matter before one of us standardizes them? - Steve3849 talk 22:58, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

As he's a Brit now, and has been associated with that country for so long, UK format should be used. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 23:36, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Move to Britain[edit]

Any information on why he moved to Britain ? Also how did he get British citizenship ? -- Beardo (talk) 12:01, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I was at the recent (Dec 2011) Marakesh Film Festival where Gilliam told his Masterclass that "With George Bush spending my tax dollars on wars and not on books, schools, health and education, it was time to take a stand." - This got great applause. He has lived in London for over fourty years because "England provides a audience that inspires and likes my way of working." With fourty years residence, becoming a British Citizen would have been easy.

Gilliam now finds himself on probation, imposed by the U.S. after having renounced his U.S. citizenship. This means that he may not spend more that thirty days a year in the US for a period of ten years.(He said this at the Master class). He didn't seem to be upset about it.

The Marrakesh Film Festival staged a "Tribute" to Gilliam, showed several of his films, including his latest short film "The Wholly Family" and he gave a Masterclass which was actually a long interview with a short Q&A at the end.

ALL QUOTES ARE APROXIMATE BUT ACCURATE REPORTS OF WHAT I HEARD AT FROM GILLIAM MYSELF AT THE FILM FESTIVAL. - Eddie Punch — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eddie Punch (talkcontribs) 10:00, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Interviews and references[edit]

Shouldn't we make a start at using facts that matter for the article from the interviews, and turning these facts into in-line references, instead of maintaining this senseless list of links to interviews...? What matters for the article about Gilliam is the information we can derive from those interviews... If I want to find interviews with Gilliam, I'll just google myself... Thank you. Mark in wiki (talk) 19:58, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

You make a good point. Altho, it is nice to have a central place where you can find all of these interviews. Anyways, I'm placing the interview links here until the info contained within them can be integrated into the article.--J.D. (talk) 13:07, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Potter films section[edit]

There is a whole section of this bio devoted to the fact that Gilliam did not direct any of the Harry Potter films. I actually updated and clarified it, even though I am one of those Wikipedians who generally feels that the Wikipedia is not the place to catalog things which might have happened, but didn't. In this case, there are a couple of extenuating circumstances: the Harry Potter books and movies were clearly inspired by Gilliam's (and the other Pythons') work, and Gilliam has commented on the fact that he was passed over for the Potter films. He is not the only Python to not direct any Harry Potter films: Terry Jones also has not directed any Potter films (nor, for that matter, has John Cleese.) Timothy Horrigan (talk) 14:32, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

No, neither of those other Pythons directed any Potter movies. But, neither of them were favorites of Rowling, as Gilliam was. She wanted Gilliam to direct one, or more, of the movies, but was shot down. Therefore, it is relevant. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 15:19, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Would agree it's just about worthy of being included, if only for the sake of completeness; but that 3rd paragraph is just OTT and silly. He isn't going to direct a Harry Potter film, end of. Stuff about it being impossible for him to do so unless the director is pulled on an on-going project readers can figure out for themselves in the unlikely event of the thought crossing their minds. "Gilliam has not ruled out the possibility of directing a film based on the Potter-related book Beedle the Bard" Really? Has he been asked? If so, cite it. Along with him not ruling out the possibility of directing adaptations of The Brothers Karamazov, Five Go to Smuggler's Top and The RSPB's Book of British Birds. Declan Clam (talk) 14:37, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Taking a closer look at that third paragraph, I see that you are correct. I reverted too quickly without really looking at the content of that paragraph, which is clearly too speculative to be relevant. My apologies. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 15:03, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
I was trying to strike a Pythonesque tone with the last paragraph: the Pythons often relied on the strategy of overstating the obvious. Timothy Horrigan (talk) 15:00, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
OT: Tim and Declan, you are brilliant! Next you two're gonna be insinuating that when Terry drove up and down Mulholland Drive furiously, he tried to re-enact The Killer Cars! XD -- (talk) 22:37, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
What? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 00:06, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
See here: [2]. I was basically lauding Timothy's and Declan's mimicking of the Python style in "overstating the obvious", and added another fitting Python reference from one of Terry's cartoons. -- (talk) 11:16, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps it should be (or is) mentioned in Rowling's article. A list of films that Gilliam will not be directing does not belong in this article. 2tuntony (talk) 21:15, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I stand by what I said that the source given does not meet WP:RS. Also, the opening statement about "rumors" is not mentioned, RS or not. 2tuntony (talk) 23:59, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Production Problems[edit]

I think this section has problems, itself. It seems to be insinuating that Gilliam is to blame for things mostly out of his control (floods, actor injuries and deaths, etc.). It also highlights projects that fell through in a way that suggests they are unusual and related to him, however, Hollywood film projects very frequently take a long time to come to fruition and go through numerous cast and director changes before making their way to the screen (Watchmen, for example). It also spends a lot of time talking about things that didn't pan out, then hurridly throws in some quick mentions of big successes, which would seem to outweigh the failures, IMO. In short, I think it seems to be trying to make a negative statement about him, which is, at best, not well explained and supported, and, at worst, rather inaccurate. Senor Vergara (talk) 19:54, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Overlinking of countries[edit]

Any reason why we would have multiple links to well-known countries in the lede and the infobox? I can't see it and WP:OVERLINK recommends against it, but I thought I would ask anyway. --John (talk) 03:08, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

The drive to strip out links to so-called "well-known countries" is not without controversy, nor is it universally accepted. --Ckatzchatspy 03:53, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I see. Can you provide evidence for this? A link to an ongoing discussion would be good; I'm not currently aware of any such. What value would you say adding these links provides to the reader? --John (talk) 04:22, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Different people have different standards as to what constitutes a useful link. If you want an example of how the "common terms" language is controversial, please look at this discussion. If you're really interested, I can also point you to where the current wording comes from, that being one editor's unilateral (and undiscussed) rewrite of the linking language one-and-a-half years ago. Furthermore, the so-called "common terms" list that the delinking script uses was developed without consensus (or even much in the way of open discussion), and there has never been consensus for the wide-spread use of said script for "CT" delinking purposes. --Ckatzchatspy 06:13, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
If you're unhappy with the recommendation, may I suggest you take it up at the appropriate place. I notice you didn't answer the second (and most important) question; what value would you say the links have on this article? --John (talk) 07:10, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid Ckatz has a history of pushing the lowest standard possible when it comes to the linking of country names. Link all, all the time, seems to be the mantra. He might bend on repeat links of United States and UK and other obscure items English speakers are likely to be unfamiliar with, but those links, in CKatz's opinion, need to be right up there in the lead and the infobox just in case some reader wants to click on them. Most unlikely. Trouble is, the opening is just the place Australian or Canadian or French will bunch up with other links that are useful. So WP:LINK's advice against bunching, as well as against the linking of terms that most English-speakers are likely to be familiar with, are both at issue.
I cannot work out why such a good writer and cluey person as CKatz is utterly unmovable on this matter, and nurtures a deep resentment against me and others who have pushed, over the past few years, smart linking practices to strengthen our wikilinking system. He seems to pay no heed (even to reject) the notion that blue-links can dilute each other. There's an implicit belief that readers really do click on links much at all (highly unlikely that they do, which is why people have accepted, by and large, that rationing to the most high-value is the way to go).
Finally, I want to express my continued frustration that Ckatz will never respond to substantive questions such as the one that John has asked. He appears to avoid them as a matter of strategy. This will not do, and is not the wiki way, which centres on substantive discussion of the effect on the text, on our readers. CKatz is likely to try to steer discussion back to a personal frame, attacking me and others for "having no consensus", for unilaterally changing the rules. I doubt that it's as straightforward as that, but this is not the matter at hand: the changes were made long ago and are widely accepted, no matter what song is sung here. Tony (talk) 22:12, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying Tony. I suggest that pending a proper answer from CKatz, we take their dissent as being noted and continue to edit per the broad consensus that seems to exist on this issue. --John (talk) 22:15, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Tony, you say I "attack" you, yet you are the one who continues to misrepresent me. "Lowest standard possible"? "Link all, all the time"? This is garbage, outright misrepresentation, and at worst intentional dishonesty. (I'm sure you'll just attempt to dismiss that as a so-called "attack", but your track record for repeatedly misrepresenting me speaks for itself.) I'd say, to anyone who cares, that they should simply review our respective contributions in regard to the linking issue. They'll find nothing that supports your comical suggestion that I endorse unrestricted linking. At the same time, they would find a clear and direct path regarding your actions, beginning with the point in early July 2008 when you - without any consensus whatsoever - rewrote (and effectively reversed the spirit of) the linking guidelines to suit your own personal ideals. I'd like it if, given that we are unlikely to see eye-to-eye on this matter, we could at least disagree like gentlemen. --Ckatzchatspy 22:31, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Your failure to answer the question I asked you has already been noted above. If you are able to do so, here and now would be a good place and time to do so. If you are not able to do so, that too is a sort of answer. If you feel Tony, or anyone else, has treated you unfairly, maybe you could take that up elsewhere. Thanks a lot. --John (talk) 22:55, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
It's amazing—quite a feat. Not a single word addressing the actual issue here; actually, it's in attack mode itself, just beneath the boundary where you'd have to think WP:CIVIL (some would say it is uncivil already). It attacks by accusing of attack. Kind of circular. Now I've wasted enough time on this personal stuff, and it leads nowhere. Can we drop it, please, and discuss your actual difference with the long-standing guidelines and their application? In substantive terms, as everyone else does? Tony (talk) 23:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I ask you all to keep the comments on this talk page focussed on improving this article. Thank you. Hohum 22:58, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed that the 'old countries' should not be linked. It seems that this conversation has a dimension more universal to wp as a whole, and should be adjourned to WT:Linking. While doing that, would Ckatz kindly outline specifically – point by point would be good for clarity – wht problem he sees with the guideline at present, and what types of linking he suggests, and propose these as discussion? Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:38, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Collapsed discussion unrelated to article[edit]

Making links shorter, not longer[edit]

Labalius, in an edit-summary purporting to give the reason for a reversion, cites WP:PIPE ("Avoid making links longer than necessary"). The full text of that statement is:

"Avoid making links longer than necessary: write president George Washington, not president George Washington."

All well and good. No one could disagree that less blue is superior, since it looks better on the page and is less likely to dilute other wikilinks.

This is exactly what my edit did: [[Medicine Lake, Minnesota -> [[Medicine Lake, Minnesota|Medicine Lake]], Minnesota. The result in terms of what the reader sees is Medicine Lake, Minnesota -> Medicine Lake, Minnesota.

Please stop citing what appear to be erroneous rules in support of retaining an extra word within the blue. The link-target is exactly the same, and the result is neater and less dilutionary. In addition, it satisfies the WP:LINK rule about avoiding where possible the bunching of separate items, where it is unclear to the reader whether one or two links are present. Tony (talk) 11:55, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


Is reducing the amount of blue on the page a legitimate reason for piping a link? Tony1 argues that it is and uses the George Washington example from WP:PIPE to make his case. However, the full text of that statement is actually:

  • Avoid making links longer than necessary: write president [[George Washington]], not [[George Washington|president George Washington]].

The example is deliberately de-wikified, because it is discussing the length of links in the source code, not the amount of blue in the formatted article text. The example could well have been:

  • Avoid making links longer than necessary: write [[Medicine Lake, Minnesota]], not [[Medicine Lake, Minnesota|Medicine Lake]], Minnesota.

I can find nothing in WP:PIPE or WP:LINK to suggest that links should be piped to reduce the amount of blue text in the article. Is it worth making the source code less readable in order to reduce the number of blue words by one? If it is then the guidelines on piping links need to be updated, as there are many articles which would require the same treatment as Medicine Lake, Minnesota. Until this happens, I suggest that we keep links as simple as possible. Labalius (talk) 00:22, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

It's the readers who count, not the editors. Tony (talk) 00:45, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Production problems[edit]

I'm for splitting this section, because it's basically about two different things. One is development hell, things that never start rolling because you never get the funding for it, and that's a common and every-day thing in Hollywood and the movie world in general. The other is real production problems as opposed to problems before production even starts. I call it nothing but trade press bias when the media keeps conflating development hell with real production problems when it comes to Terry. As it is currently set up, the section is more about what's commonly termed the "Gilliam curse" (and as much as I remember, the section originally was even called exactly that), or in other words, why Terry ain't popular with the Hollywood system, from their POV. More balanced reviewers at least mention it's also to do with the fact that ever since the Battle of Brazil, he keeps securing himself the rights to final cut which makes him kinda stubborn and "difficult" in the eyes of big studio beancounters. His penchant for bizarre images and stories also helps them to call him a weird madman out of control.

If we keep it to those real production problems, the section will be significantly shortened to three events: Munchausen, The man who killed Don Quixote, and Parnassus. It might even leave us with some space to tell Terry's POV about why Munchausen didn't make its money back in the US, which is that it was hardly released in the States, even though in the few places it could be seen, it generated Columbia's highest figures per screen since The Last Emperor, and still Columbia pulled the plug on it after something like two weeks. Lots of nasty studio politics going on there, and the fact that a lot of burned ground was around between Terry and the studio system ever since Brazil which contributed a lot to the making of Munchausen. Sources on all that can be found at The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Move all the rest of the section down, all the stuff about development hell, and merge it into Projects in development or shelved. This will also serve to get rid of quite a few duplicates.

Finally, there seems a lot of cruft towards the latter part. I'm not saying the informations themselves are bad, but I think it's kinda unneccesary to create an own section for each. Just take Gilliam and Harry Potter, it fits well into Projects in development or shelved. And all the rest can be put under one section titled something like Non-feature film projects, except, of course, for the Future projects section.

What do you guys think? -- (talk) 14:27, 5 August 2010 (UTC)


I removed the following from the "themes and philosophy" subsection and bring it here for discussion:

In his Gilliam biography Perception is a strange thing[2], German film critic Harald Mühlbeyer comes to the conclusion that Gilliam's films are always best when he chooses to only give us the ambigious perspective of his main protagonist's subjective perception, deliberately blurring the lines between fantasy and reality thereby, and worst when the central events we see are unambigiously portrayed as truly happening in the real world outside of somebody's head. Explaining this lack of ambiguity as the film's central shortcoming, Mühlbeyer cites Brothers Grimm as the pivotal example of the latter, while proclaiming Gilliam's successful achievement with The Fisher King as his most realistic film to-date to be that the director achieves this ambiguity in spite of the realistic setting by switching between the subjective perceptions of his two main characters instead of showing us anything like an unbiased, objective report.

This rather long paragraph gives a summation of one opinion held by a German film critic whose importance or notability is not clear. Further, with no quotes or page numbers, we cannot know that this is an accurate paraphrasing of the man's opinions. This should stay out until such time that it's accuracy and importance are established. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 21:48, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

So the only difference to the "one opinion" by "a film critic" named Keith Hamel just above the section you've just removed is that Mühlbeyer's book is in German instead of English? If you absolutely need page numbers (which the Hamel paragraph doesn't have), that would be p. 180-182 in his Brothers Grimm chapter (you see, that's 3 pages Mühlbeyer needs to develop his theory there, I really shortened it down), and a vague reference to the issue on p. 227-228 in his closing summary chapter. Mühlbeyer's overarching theme in all chapters, as suggested by his book's title of "Perception is a strange thing", is that Gilliam's strong point is visualizing subjective, ambigious perception instead of unbiased realism, but I thought that basic information could gain a lot by adding Mühlbeyer's clarifying example of well-crafted Fisher King vs. the interesting failure of Brothers Grimm.
As for Mühlbeyer's credentials, he holds a German Magister degree in Filmwissenschaft with which he graduated at the University of Mainz, and that would be equivalent to a master's degree of film arts and technology in the Anglo-American education system, if such an Anglophone equivalent degree exists particularly for film arts and technology. -- (talk) 11:12, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
RepublicanJacobite, you said what you wanted was a discussion on the material you removed, yet you have failed to discuss it in response for almost a month by now. -- (talk) 22:59, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I have now found out that the user talkpage of RepublicanJacobite is semi-protected and has been that way for 2 years (with the first admin applying protection suspecting him of being a sockpuppet "troll"), and thus I can't reach him there. It would be nice if somebody else could try and reach him about the matter. -- (talk) 23:07, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
  • The above comments I find somewhat misguided; whereas it might have been helpful to have a reference to this guideline, it is incumbent on the editor seeking to have material included to justify it, and with regard to this policy, and this, external mechanisms exist for discussion of issues such as this, such as this one. Meanwhile, there is no compelling reason for this to be either included or excluded, as far as I can see. RepublicanJacobite doubtless has this page watchlisted, but it should not be assumed that having raised the point, he is neither available nor interested in discussing a point that policy-wise, should be beyond argument subject to the remedies I have suggested. In short, it's your call, and your ball. Rodhullandemu 23:16, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I understand that it's my call, but I'm afraid of RepublicanJacobite accusing me of edit warring if I'll just go and put it back into the article. As for WP:BURDEN, I doubt that we'll have to make a case for inclusion with every single edit, only after it's been removed, and so I did above in response to RepublicanJacobite. As for Wikipedia:RS, I've made the case for Mühlbeyer's scholarship credentials, and it says at Wikipedia:Verifiability#Non-English sources that non-English language does not have to be an obstacle to inclusion. -- (talk) 23:41, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
My main objection to inclusion is that it gives undue weight to one critic's opinions. In addition to that, I question the notability of the author and his writing. Nothing, in my opinion, is lost if it is left out. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 01:26, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
So your main argument has morphed from accuracy and non-English language to notability. Well, I fail to see how Mühlbeyer as a stately recognized and certified film scholar is any less notable than Hamel just above. And his point really isn't an issue that's much bigger in any way than Hamel's, I guess what made it seem longer was by including the clarifying example of Fisher King vs. Brothers Grimm.
Granted, English isn't my native language and there's certainly ways of shortening Mühlbeyer's points even further, however there's many, many layers to Terry's body of work, and with what I have in mind for this Themes and philosophy section, Hamel and Mühlbeyer would be only a starting point to a number of comments and interpretations by other reliable published sources (and I promise to steer clear of other non-English sources next to Mühlbeyer, even though I know at least two of those that associate Terry's themes with the Frankfurt School's Critical Theory and its main work, Dialectic of Enlightenment, similarly to how Hamel associates Terry's films with the philosophy of Weber and Tornbee, whereas Weber happens to be one of the main influences upon Critical Theory, and what Hamel calls "kitsch" as consciously reflected in Terry's works resembles to a T Theodor W. Adorno's notion of Kulturindustrie). -- (talk) 01:54, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

re Harry Potter and reliable sources[edit]

Edit summaries are inappropriate to discuss the reliability of sources; since this has been to-ing and fro-ing for a while, and involves autoconfirmed editors, I've fully protected the page for a week, or until consensus has been reached. If in doubt, WP:RSN is there, as are other forms of dispute resolution. Rodhullandemu 23:58, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

I did asked the editor to explain on his talk page. Which he reverted and left no further comment. Garion96 (talk) 00:01, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Just saw one comment he made a couple sections above, that's why I missed it. I copy it here.
I stand by what I said that the source given does not meet WP:RS. Also, the opening statement about "rumors" is not mentioned, RS or not. 2tuntony (talk) 23:59, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
You said it's not a reliable source, but you have failed to explain why. Garion96 (talk) 00:04, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I did "explain why". It doesn't meet WP:RS. 2tuntony (talk) 00:09, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I would also like to stress that it does not belong anyway, as Wikipedia is not the place to report something that is not going to happen. And again, the source, reliable or not, says nothing about the "rumors" you apparently insist on having in this article. 2tuntony (talk) 00:14, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you said that. But you failed to explain why contact music is not a reliable source. From looking it at it seems to be a peer reviewed entertainment webzine. No reason why it shouldn't be considered a reliable source. Regarding something that is not going to happen, just a stupid example, shall we delete LEO (spacecraft) Garion96 (talk) 00:22, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
No. Like I said, we should include, on the pages of Cleese, Jones, Palin, Idle, and, for good measure, the late Chapman, that they will not be directing any Harry Potter movies either. Simply ridiculous. 2tuntony (talk) 00:32, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
That's because there were no reliable sources ever stating that they would or wouldn't. You still haven't explained why contact music is not a reliable source btw. Garion96 (talk) 00:36, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Total Film is one of the top selling entertainment magazines in the UK. It's a reliable source, and while the article itself doesn't appear to be available online, and I don't have access to back issues, it's referenced in several other publications. I found an article in The Sun that seems to cover the same material, if we're really concerned (though I don't think we need be as it's not terribly controversial or dubious.) And if we're going to mention the Potter films in the article (which I think we should, as it's a good illustration of Gilliam's relationship with Hollywood), his comments in Total Film are very relevant and absolutely ought to be included. -- Vary | (Talk) 00:43, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
And it said, "Contrary to popular rumors". What rumors, and where is the source for these rumors? 2tuntony (talk) 01:40, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
The whole section about Gilliam not directing Harry Potter films is absurd, and doesn't belong in the article. However, if it is returned, I will not object, so long as the nonsense about "rumors" stays out. Is that acceptable? 2tuntony (talk) 01:45, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Since the word "rumors" doesn't even show up in the source I have no objection. Garion96 (talk) 08:30, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
If no one else objects, shall we request unprotection, and proceed with the agreed upon changes? 2tuntony (talk) 17:54, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Done. This ok? Garion96 (talk) 18:31, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Fine. 2tuntony (talk) 20:25, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

[undent] It's great that somebody cares about the Harry Potter story at all. However, it would be even better if anybody would comment about my above suggestion to merge it into Projects in development or shelved (see talkpage section Production problems above). Combine that with my other suggestion above of also grouping all "Non-feature film projects" into another section instead of giving each single item a heading all on its own (and maybe also with my third suggestion of splitting up the current section of Production problems into actual Production problems on the one hand and "Development hell" to be merged into Projects in development or shelved on the other), and you'll have tidied up quite a lot of the huge mess which the article still is as of now, without removing a single bit of valuable information but quite a lot of the duplicates still in existence. -- (talk) 23:17, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Zero Theorem (film)[edit]

The Zero Theorem (film) article is about a proposed Terry Gilliam film that has since been shelved. I'd like to suggest merging a summary into this article. Otherwise, it is unclear that there is a need for the film article, and it will likely get AfD'd at some point. Thoughts?—RJH (talk) 15:49, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I was agnostic about this at first, but have since reconsidered. There is no reason for a separate, short article about a film that will likely never be made. If it goes into production at some point in the future, an article can be written then. For now, this should be added to the section about the numerous projects he never got off the ground. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:13, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm reposting this from the discussion I mistakenly started at Talk:Zero Theorem (film):

Regarding the recent suggestion to merge it appears the article could be placed intact as a full paragraph in the section Terry_Gilliam#Projects_in_development_or_shelved. The article is short enough that it probably could be copy/pasted as is. For flow the paragraph breaks could be removed turning it into a single paragraph; this way it would also retain it's references.

- Steve3849talk 23:40, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
I would agree with that course of action. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 23:43, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Done. - Steve3849talk 20:20, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Recurring collaborators chart[edit]

A large chart, which takes up a lot of space is unnecessary for this subsection. What we have now is a simple list with the actor's names and the films in which they appeared. Nothing else is needed. The fact that other articles have such charts is really meaningless. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 01:24, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

It's simply a better visual. It doesn't really take any more space but obviously you're going to be stubborn about this and need to have it your way, so whatever. I don't really care. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
No, I started a discussion to get the consensus of other editors. I will abide by that consensus, as long as it is within policy. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 00:26, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

The Defective Detective[edit]

IMDB has recently categorized The Defective Detective as "in development", with a tentative release date of 2014. Noteworthy? -- (talk) 21:39, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Have sources other than IMDb discussed it? IMDb is not a reliable source for this sort of information. Doniago (talk) 14:04, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Gee, I wonder if Terry's still gonna make it in the remaining 23 days... -- (talk) 14:16, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
There's an interview here where he mentioned there's been talk of reviving the project. A few weeks back I heard another interview where he said they were considering adapting the script to a TV series, but I can't find the link at the moment. Nothing solid yet, in any case. —Flax5 19:13, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Films in lede[edit]

Currently, the lede says:

Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).

My suggestion is that this be reduced to Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and 12 Monkeys. Arguably, these are his best known. ---RepublicanJacobiteTheFortyFive 02:26, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the lead could be much shorter. I wasn't aware that Time Bandits was so well known, and I am not sure if it is very characteristic of the sort of movies Gilliam makes. I would have no objections against naming only Brazil, Munchausen and 12 Monkeys in the lead. Maybe Parnassos is worth mentioning too, because it is more recent, because it is (I feel) quite characteristic for the sort of movies Gilliam makes, and because it has won a number of awards and prizes. Mark in wiki (talk) 10:15, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
IMHO: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is probably THE cult movie of the 1990s. As Terry himself said, there was a time when you couldn't walk into a student's room without finding the poster on the wall. Plus, as uncharacteristic as it is for its realistic setting (unlike Time Bandits, which is much more Gilliamesque), let's not forget about the critical praise he won for The Fisher King, which included an Oscar for Mercedes Ruehl as Best Supporting Actress, besides the fact the film was also a commercial success.
Oh, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail always ranks high on shortlists of Funniest British Film of course, probably even shortlists of World's Funniest Movies ever.
And it's lead, not "lede". No French etymology there. -- (talk) 17:13, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Animator AND director[edit]

He was the Pythons's animator for circa 14 years, and he's been a world-renowned director for something like 35 years now. What I'm saying is that his achievements and fame as a director warrant a more central mention than just "he's also known for directing some films" in the lead. When people hear of Terry, they think of two things first and foremost: Gilliam the Monty Python animator and Gilliam the director, with things such as actor only second. My proposal would read something like

Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam ( /ˈɡɪliəm/; born 22 November 1940) is an American-born British animator, known especially for his work as a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, screenwriter and film director who has directed a number of cult films that, if not always turned out to be commercial successes, nonetheless met with critical acclaim and a devoted fan audience, including the absurd Monty Python comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), dystopian satire Brazil (1985), fantasy adventure The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), drama The Fisher King (1991; Academy Award win for Mercedes Ruehl as Best Supporting Actress), sci-fi thriller 12 Monkeys (1995; inspired by Chris Marker's short film La jetée, 1962), and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), the latter based on Hunter S. Thompson's 1972 cult novel of the same name. He is also known as an actor, often appearing in small cameo roles, in his own films and those of others. The only "Python" not born in Britain, he took British citizenship in 1968. -- (talk) 04:17, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Holly Gilliam's blog[edit]

I just discovered that Terry's daughter, Holly, is hosting a blog in which she posts various items that she has discovered while organizing her father's archive: Would this be considered a reliable source? This could be a great source of information for the article. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 13:16, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Zero Theorem[edit]

I remember it once had its own article, but it was deleted folowing the project's original folding. For when a new article will be started up, a link to this in-progress official site for the re-started film over at Voltage Pictures may be helpful: [3] -- (talk) 20:30, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Is the film definitely in pre-production? ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 22:35, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Gilliam has posted photographs of sets being constructed on his Facebook page. [4] [5]Flax5 11:42, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Sources belong here, not in external links[edit]

These sources do not belong in External links. I have moved the link farm from there to this talk page where they do belong. Warning: I didn't check them to see if they follow criteria per WP policy, so be careful in choosing any potential references I've moved here. Thank you!--Leahtwosaints (talk) 07:15, 26 October 2012 (UTC)


The filmography should be a straight list of films Gilliam directed. There is no need for a large chart listing every project with which he was somehow connected. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 19:26, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Why so? Being a writer or an actor is being a real part of a movie. A list of the movies he directed could be enough if he only wrote and starred in movies he directed, however it is not the case. His involvment in other works, including of course the Monty Python, are important enough to be noticed on his page as writing and acting work are a part of someone's filmography, even if they can be considered as less important than a directing work. This is was is made for many directors such as Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright, and many others If you think that the whole think is too big for the article, then we can list the films he directed in the "Filmography" category but create a Terry Gilliams Filmography article, as for directors with long filmographies such as Spielberg or Tarantino. Because yes, Gilliam do have a really long filmography, so an other article could be justified, but not listing the movies he wrote and/or starred in in an article directly concerning him is not.--Hyliad (d), 23:26 9 June 2013 (CEST)

Recurring collaborators chart (again)[edit]

Nearly three years ago, I began a discussion about the recurring collaborators chart, which I think is too large, unwieldy, and unnecessary. First of all, I think we need to limit this to people Gilliam has worked with more than twice, and only people who have had significant roles. Some of the people on the chart had only small roles in a couple films, which is not significant. Second, we do not need a chart, as a simple list, as it used to be, would suffice to give the information. Any thoughts on this? ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 13:36, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

With twelve films in Gilliam's filmography, I do not consider a collaborator that Gilliam has worked with only twice worth mentioning as a "recurring" collaborator. I also agree with TheOldJacobite that a simple list would be better. In my opinion that would be much more appropriate, clear and readable. Mark in wiki (talk) 14:02, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


A comment about Gilliam's atheism has been removed because the link wasn't clear. It said this:

For years, he at least forbade himself from owning a smartphone. But last year, he gave in and took one home from the Zero Theorem set. Recently, the phone broke for a few days, and he panicked. "It's black and it looks like the monolith from 2001 and I'm the ape there worshipping it." (Not that he's into worship. The former Minnesota seminary student managed to ditch religion and the U.S. government by reinventing himself as a British atheist: "America's winning the war of bureaucracy," he sighs).

So while the article makes a passing remark about him "reinventing himself as a British atheist", there's actually no quote from Gilliam saying it. It seems to be an opinion of the article writer, rather than an actual factual statement.

Of course, if there's another link which shows explicit evidence of Gilliam being atheist, then put that in. --One Salient Oversight (talk) 02:21, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Terry has referred to himself on several occassions as still more or less a Protestant, not least of all because of his relevant upbringing in Medicine Lake, Minnesota. Some references to it are in his interviews on the production of Munchausen, where he discusses the differences between the "Roman-Catholic" and the "Protestant" ways of film-making and dealing with cast and crew, specifically referring to himself as Protestant to this day. Then there are other interviews about his childhood and the reason why he moved away from the places he grew up in, because the ways in which they were practicing their Protestantism "back home" felt more and more suffocating to him. So Terry "went to the Big City and out into the world", so to speak, because while he's still more or less Protestant (with maybe a few far-eastern mystic leanings added in since then), his God "is one who can take a joke" rather than being "a petty, sadistic and paranoid control freak". -- (talk) 14:09, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

On the richness of his presentations[edit]

Currently there is this quote in the article: "[M]y films, I think, are better the second and third time, frankly, because you can now relax and go with the flow that may not have been as apparent as the first time you saw it and wallow in the details of the worlds we're creating. [...] I try to clutter [my visuals] up, they're worthy of many viewings." I wish someone could find a third party source to extend this point. I personally was astonished by what I noticed when I watched Time Bandits and Twelve Monkeys several times. I discovered numerous details that I had never noticed before. Off hand I don't know of any other director who does this to the degree that Gilliam does. Only by watching these films several times do you come to fully understand them. (I first thought that providing specific examples might be good but, like a spoiler, might ruin the experience for the first time viewer.) Does anyone know of a citable source to use to make this point in the article? __209.179.32.155 (talk) 19:48, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

You could argue that it's due to his early fondness of 1950s MAD Magazine and particularly their artist Will Elder who was known to cram lots of background gags into his panels (especially his TV spoof of Howdy Doody remains a fan favorite and a classic that keeps getting re-printed and I think even digital copies can also be easily be googled). Don Rosa is another early fan of Elder's who grew up to infuse the same kind of "richness" into his own comics as does Terry with his films. -- (talk) 19:44, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    • ^ [6]
    • ^ Mühlbeyer, Harald. (2010). "Perception is a strange thing": Die Filme von Terry Gilliam, Marburg: Schüren Verlag, 240 pages, ISBN 978-3-89472-558-7