Gilliam at the 36th Deauville American Films Festival in 2010.
|Born||Terrence Vance Gilliam
22 November 1940
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
|Alma mater||Occidental College|
|Occupation||Actor, animator, comedian, director, producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Maggie Weston (m. 1973)|
Gilliam has directed 12 feature films, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), 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), The Brothers Grimm (2005) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). The only "Python" not born in Britain, he became a naturalised British citizen in 1968 and formally renounced his American citizenship in 2006.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 2.1 Animations
- 2.2 Monty Python
- 2.3 Directing
- 2.4 Themes and philosophy
- 2.5 Look and style
- 2.6 Production problems
- 2.7 Box office
- 2.8 Recurring collaborators
- 2.9 Gilliam and Harry Potter
- 2.10 Secret Tournament
- 2.11 Slava's Diabolo
- 2.12 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
- 2.13 The Zero Theorem
- 2.14 Opera director
- 2.15 Projects in development or shelved
- 2.16 Future projects
- 3 Charitable activities
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Video games
- 7 Awards, nominations and honours
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Gilliam was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Beatrice (née Vance) and James Hall Gilliam. His father was a travelling salesman for Folgers before becoming a carpenter. Soon after, they moved to nearby Medicine Lake, Minnesota.
The family moved to the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Panorama City in 1952. Gilliam attended Birmingham High School where he was class president and senior prom king. He was voted "Most Likely to Succeed", and achieved straight As. During high school, he began to avidly read Mad magazine, then edited by Harvey Kurtzman, which would later influence Gilliam's work.
Gilliam later spoke to Salman Rushdie about defining experiences in the 1960s that would set the foundations for his views on the world, later influencing his art and career:
I became terrified that I was going to be a full-time, bomb-throwing terrorist if I stayed [in the U.S.] because it was the beginning of really bad times in America. It was '66–'67, it was the first police riot in Los Angeles. [...] In college my major was political science, so my brain worked that way. [...] And I drove around this little English Hillman Minx—top down—and every night I'd be hauled over by the cops. Up against the wall, and all this stuff. They had this monologue with me; it was never a dialogue. It was that I was a long-haired drug addict living off some rich guy's foolish daughter. And I said, "No, I work in advertising. I make twice as much as you do." Which is a stupid thing to say to a cop. [...]
And it was like an epiphany. I suddenly felt what it was like to be a black or Mexican kid living in L.A. Before that, I thought I knew what the world was like, I thought I knew what poor people were, and then suddenly it all changed because of that simple thing of being brutalized by cops. And I got more and more angry and I just felt, I've got to get out of here—I'm a better cartoonist than I am a bomb maker. That's why so much of the U.S. is still standing.
Gilliam started his career as an animator and strip cartoonist. One of his early photographic strips for Help! featured future Python cast member John Cleese. When Help! folded, Gilliam went to Europe, jokingly announcing in the very last issue that he was "being transferred to the European branch" of the magazine, which, of course, did not exist. Moving to England, he animated sequences for the children's series Do Not Adjust Your Set, which also featured Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
Gilliam was a part of Monty Python's Flying Circus from its outset, at first credited as an animator (his name was listed separately after the other five in the closing credits), later as a full member. His cartoons linked the show's sketches together, and defined the group's visual language in other media (such as LP and book covers, and the title sequences of their films). Gilliam's animations mix his own art, characterised by soft gradients and odd, bulbous shapes, with backgrounds and moving cutouts from antique photographs, mostly from the Victorian era. Gilliam also created animations for Sesame Street in the 1970s which were based on fables by Aesop (The Frog and the Ox, The Caterpillar and the Bird, and The Fox and the Crow), while others include A Lizard sticking his Tongue out at an Apple Tree on a Hill with a Face on It, a series of humans' profiles changing shapes, five beetles merging into one beetle, and others.
In 1978, Gilliam published a book called Animations of Mortality, which was an illustrated tongue-in-cheek, semi-autobiographical how-to guide to his animation techniques and visual language in them. Roughly 15 years later, between the release of the Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time CD-ROM game in 1994 which used many of Gilliam's animation templates, and the making of Gilliam's film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Gilliam was in negotiations with one software company called Enteractive, Inc. to tentatively release in the autumn of 1996 a CD-ROM under the same title as his 1978 book, containing all of his thousands of 1970s animation templates as free license clip arts for people to create their own flash animations out of them, but the project hovered in limbo for years, probably because Enteractive was about to downsize critically in mid-1996 and later change its focus from CD-ROM multimedia presentations to internet business solutions and web hosting in 1997 (in the introduction to their 2004 book Terry Gilliam: Interviews, David Sterrit and Lucille Rhodes cited "the internet" overwhelming "the computer-communications market" as reason for why the Animations of Mortality CD-ROM had never materialised). Around the time of Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), the project had morphed into the idea of releasing his 1970s animation templates as a free license download of Adobe After Effects files or similar.
Besides doing the animations, he also appeared in several sketches, though he rarely had any main roles and did considerably less acting in the sketches. He did however have some notable sketch roles such as Cardinal Fang of the Spanish Inquisition, the bespectacled commenter who said "I can't add anything to that!" from the Election Night Special sketch, Kevin Garibaldi (the brat on the couch shouting "I want more beans!" from "Most Awful Family in Britain 1974", Episode 45) and the Screaming Queen in a cape and mask singing "Ding dong merrily on high." More frequently, he played parts that no one else wanted to play (generally because they required a lot of make-up or uncomfortable costumes, such as a recurring knight in armour who would end sketches by walking on and hitting one of the other characters over the head with a plucked chicken) and took a number of small roles in the films, including Patsy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which he co-directed with Terry Jones, where Gilliam was responsible for photography, while Jones would guide the actors' performances) and the jailer in Monty Python's Life of Brian. He also designed the covers of most of the Monty Python albums, including Another Monty Python Record, The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief and Monty Python Live at Drury Lane, as well as their film soundtrack albums.
With the gradual break-up of the Python troupe between Life of Brian in 1979 and The Meaning of Life in 1983, Gilliam became a screenwriter and director, building upon the experience he had acquired during the making of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Gilliam says he used to think of his films in terms of trilogies, starting with Time Bandits in 1981. The 1980s saw Gilliam's self-written Trilogy of Imagination about "the ages of man" in Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). All are about the "craziness of our awkwardly ordered society and the desire to escape it through whatever means possible." All three movies focus on these struggles and attempts to escape them through imagination; Time Bandits, through the eyes of a child, Brazil, through the eyes of a thirty-something, and Munchausen, through the eyes of an elderly man.
Throughout the 1990s, Gilliam directed his Trilogy of Americana: The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkeys (1995), and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), which played on North American soil, and while still being surreal, had less fantastical plots than his previous trilogy.
Themes and philosophy
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.— Terry Gilliam: Salman Rushdie talks with Terry Gilliam
As for his philosophical background in screenwriting and directing, Gilliam said on the TV show First Hand on RoundhouseTV: "There's so many film schools, so many media courses which I actually am opposed to. Because I think it's more important to be educated, to read, to learn things, because if you're gonna be in the media and if you'll have to say things, you have to know things. If you only know about cameras and 'the media', what're you gonna be talking about except cameras and the media? So it's better learning about philosophy and art and architecture [and] literature, these are the things to be concentrating on it seems to me. Then, you can fly...!"
His films are usually highly imaginative fantasies. His long-time co-writer Charles McKeown comments about Gilliam's recurring interests, "the theme of imagination, and the importance of imagination, to how you live and how you think and so on [...] that's very much a Terry theme." Most of Gilliam's movies include plot-lines that seem to occur partly or completely in the characters' imaginations, raising questions about the definition of identity and sanity. He often shows his opposition to bureaucracy and authoritarian regimes. He also distinguishes "higher" and "lower" layers of society, with a disturbing and ironic style. His movies usually feature a fight or struggle against a great power which may be an emotional situation, a human-made idol, or even the person himself, and the situations do not always end happily. There is often a dark, paranoid atmosphere and unusual characters who used to be normal members of society. His scripts feature black comedy and often end with a dark tragicomic twist.
As Gilliam is fascinated with the Baroque due to the historical age's pronounced struggle between spirituality and logical rationality, there is often a rich baroqueness and dichotomous eclecticity about his movies, with, for instance, high-tech computer monitors equipped with low-tech magnifying lenses in Brazil, and in The Fisher King a red knight covered with flapping bits of cloth. He also is given to incongruous juxtapositions of beauty and ugliness, or antique and modern. Regarding Gilliam's theme of modernity's struggle between spirituality and rationality whereas the individual may become dominated by a tyrannical, soulless machinery of disenchanted society, film critic Keith James Hamel observed a specific affinity of Gilliam's movies with the writings of economic historian Arnold Toynbee and sociologist Max Weber, specifically the latter's concept of the Iron cage of modern rationality.
Look and style
Gilliam's films have a distinctive look not only in mise-en-scène but even more so in photography, often recognisable from just a short clip; to create a surreal atmosphere of psychological unrest and a world out-of-balance, Gilliam frequently uses unusual camera angles, particularly low-angle shots, high-angle shots, and Dutch angles. Roger Ebert has said "his world is always hallucinatory in its richness of detail." Most of his movies are shot almost entirely with rectilinear ultra wide angle lenses of 28 mm focal length or less to achieve a distinctive signature style defined by extreme perspective distortion and extremely deep focus. Gilliam's long-time director of photography Nicola Pecorini has said, "with Terry and me, a long lens means something between a 40mm and a 65mm." This attitude markedly differs from the common definition in photography which qualifies 40mm to 65mm as the focal length of a normal lens instead, due to resembling the natural human field of view, unlike Gilliam's signature style defined by extreme perspective distortion due to his usual choice of focal length. In fact, over the years, the 14mm lens has become informally known as "The Gilliam" among film-makers due to the director's frequent use of it since at least Brazil. Gilliam has explained his preference for using wide-angle lenses in his films:
The wide-angle lenses, I think I choose them because it makes me feel like I'm in the space of the film, I'm surrounded. My prevalent vision is full of detail, and that's what I like about it. It's actually harder to do, it's harder to light. The other thing I like about wide-angle lenses is that I'm not forcing the audience to look at just the one thing that is important. It's there, but there's other things to occupy, and some people don't like that because I'm not pointing things out as precisely as I could if I was to use a long lens where I'd focus just on the one thing and everything else would be out of focus. [...]
[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.
In another interview, Gilliam mentioned, in relation to the 9.8mm Kinoptic lens he had first used on Brazil, that wide-angle lenses make small film sets "look big". The widest lens he has used so far is an 8mm Zeiss lens employed on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Gilliam has made a few extremely expensive movies beset with production problems. After the lengthy quarrelling with Universal Studios over Brazil, Gilliam's next picture, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, cost around US$46 million, and then earned only about US$8 million in US ticket sales. The film saw no wide domestic release from Columbia Pictures, which was in the process of being sold at the time.
In the mid-1990s, Gilliam and Charles McKeown developed a script for Time Bandits 2, a project that never came to be made because several of the original actors had died. Gilliam also attempted to direct a version of Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, which collapsed due to disagreements over its budget and choice of lead actor.
In 1999, Gilliam attempted to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, budgeted at US$32.1 million, among the highest-budgeted films to use only European financing; but in the first week of shooting, the actor playing Don Quixote (Jean Rochefort) suffered a herniated disc, and a flood severely damaged the set. The film was cancelled, resulting in an insurance claim of US$15 million. Despite the cancellation, the aborted project did yield the documentary Lost in La Mancha, produced from film from a second crew that had been hired by Gilliam to document the making of Quixote. After the cancellation, both Gilliam and the film's co-lead, Johnny Depp, wanted to revive the project. The insurance company involved in the failed first attempt withheld the rights to the screenplay for several years but the production was finally restarted in 2008.
From 2002-2006, Gilliam tried to get funding for an adaptation of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, with Robin Williams and Johnny Depp rumored as possible stars, but movie studios found the apocalyptic theme unacceptable in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks and funding never materialized.
Gilliam's first successful feature, Time Bandits (1981), earned more than eight times its original budget in the United States alone; Gilliam's infamous box office flop The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) was nevertheless nominated for four Academy Awards (and won, among other European prizes, three BAFTA Awards); his $24 million-budgeted film The Fisher King (1991) (his first film not to feature a member from Python) grossed more than $41 million at United States box office; and 12 Monkeys went on to take over US$168 million worldwide; whilst The Brothers Grimm, despite a mixed critical reception, grossed over US$105 million worldwide. Gilliam's $30 million-budgeted film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus had also become an international box office success, grossing over $60 million in worldwide theatrical release. According to Box Office Mojo, his films have grossed an average of $21,602,510.
Since his first feature, Gilliam has shown a propensity to work with particular actors in numerous productions. Up until the 1990s, each of Gilliam's non-Python films has featured at least one of his fellow Monty Python alumni (particularly Palin, Cleese, and Idle), and for his finished projects Gilliam has worked with the following actors at least twice (in order of first film appearance):
- Derrick O'Connor (Jabberwocky, Time Bandits, Brazil)
- John Hughman (Jabberwocky, Time Bandits)
- Jerold Wells (Jabberwocky, Time Bandits)
- Bryan Pringle (Jabberwocky, Brazil)
- Gorden Kaye (Jabberwocky, Brazil)
- Derek Deadman (Jabberwocky, Time Bandits, Brazil)
- Ian Holm (Time Bandits, Brazil)
- Terence Bayler (Time Bandits, Brazil)
- Peter Vaughan (Time Bandits, Brazil)
- Myrtle Devenish (Time Bandits, Brazil)
- Jack Purvis (Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen)
- Jim Broadbent (Time Bandits, Brazil)
- Charles McKeown (Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)
- Katherine Helmond (Time Bandits, Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
- Ray Cooper (Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Zero Theorem)
- Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Brazil, The Brothers Grimm)
- Don Henderson (Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen)
- Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Brothers Grimm)
- Simon Jones (Brazil, 12 Monkeys)
- Robin Williams (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King)
- Jeff Bridges (The Fisher King, Tideland)
- Stephen Bridgewater (The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys,Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
- Michael Jeter (The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
- Tom Waits (The Fisher King, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)
- Christopher Plummer (12 Monkeys, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)
- Christopher Meloni (12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
- Johnny Depp (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)
- Verne Troyer (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)
- Matt Damon (The Brothers Grimm, The Zero Theorem)
- Heath Ledger (The Brothers Grimm, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)
- Peter Stormare (The Brothers Grimm, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Zero Theorem)
- Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Zero Theorem)
- Gwendoline Christie (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Zero Theorem)
Other recurring collaborators include Gilliam's cinematographers Roger Pratt (Brazil, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys) and Nicola Pecorini (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Brothers Grimm, Tideland, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Zero Theorem), and his co-writer McKeown (Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus).
Gilliam and Harry Potter
J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is a fan of Gilliam's work. Consequently, he was Rowling's first choice to direct Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 2000, but Warner Bros. ultimately chose Chris Columbus for the job. In response to this decision, Gilliam expressed that "I was the perfect guy to do Harry Potter. I remember leaving the meeting, getting in my car, and driving for about two hours along Mulholland Drive just so angry. I mean, Chris Columbus' versions are terrible. Just dull. Pedestrian." In 2006, Gilliam added that he found Alfonso Cuarón's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to be "really good...much closer to what I would've done." In retrospect, however, Gilliam has stated that he wouldn't have liked to direct any Potter film. In a 2005 interview with Total Film magazine, he said that he would not enjoy working on such an expensive project due to interference from studio executives.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, director David Yates paid homage to Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil, portraying the Death Eater-infiltrated Ministry of Magic in a fashion reminiscent of Gilliam's totalitarian bureaucracy.
In 2002, Gilliam directed a series of television advertisements called Secret Tournament. The advertisements were part of Nike's FIFA World Cup campaign, and featured a secret three-on-three tournament between the world's best football players inside a huge tanker ship, with the Elvis Presley song "A Little Less Conversation" playing during the advertisements.
In 2006, Gilliam directed the stage show Slava's Diabolo created and staged by Russian clown artist Slava Polunin. The show combines Polunin's clown style, characterised by deep non-verbal expression and interaction with the audience, with Gilliam's rich visuals and surrealistic imagery. The show premiered at the Noga hall of the Gesher theatre in Jaffa, Israel.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, directed and co-written by Gilliam, was released in 2009. In January 2007, Gilliam announced that he had been working on a new project with writing partner Charles McKeown. One day later, the fansite Dreams reported that the new project was titled The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. In October 2007, Dreams confirmed that this would be Gilliam's next project and was slated to star Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits. Production began in December 2007 in London.
On 22 January 2008, production of the film was disrupted following the death of Heath Ledger in New York City. Variety reported that Ledger's involvement had been a "key factor" in the film's financing. Production was suspended indefinitely by 24 January, but in February actors Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell signed on to continue Ledger's role, transforming into multiple incarnations of his character in the "magical" world of the film. Thanks to this arrangement principal photography was completed 15 April 2008 on schedule. Editing was completed November 2008. According to the official ParnassusFilm Twitter channel launched on 30 March 2009, the film's post-production FX work finished on 31 March. During the filming, Gilliam was accidentally hit by a bus and broke his back.
The film had successful screenings including a premiere at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. The UK release for the film was scheduled for 6 June 2009 but was pushed back to 16 October 2009. The USA release was on 25 December 2009. Eventually, this $30 million-budgeted film had grossed more than $60 million in worldwide theatrical release and received two Academy Award nominations.
The Zero Theorem
In July 2012, Gilliam revealed plans for a future film, which would be shot in Bucharest, Romania, but although he denied that it would be Don Quixote, he refused to give any details. Actor David Walliams reportedly entered talks with Gilliam to play a part in it, and was told that he'd have to "be willing to work with Johnny Depp and fly to Bucharest where the movie is to be filmed." Depp, to that point, had made no mention of his involvement, but was seen in Bucharest around the same time in mid-July as Romanian news outlets reported Gilliam was staying in the city for negotiations on studio work with Romanian film production company MediaPro Studios. On 13 August 2012, this project was officially announced to be The Zero Theorem, set to start shooting in Bucharest on 22 October, produced by Dean Zanuck (son to the late Richard D. Zanuck who was to originally produce in 2009), worldwide sales handled by Voltage Pictures, Toronto and starring Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz in the lead, replacing Billy Bob Thornton who had been attached to the project in 2009. The Zero Theorem premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival on 2 September 2013.
Gilliam made his opera debut at London's English National Opera (ENO) in May 2011, directing The Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz. The production received positive reviews in the British press On 16 September 2012, the production opened at the Vlaamse Opera in Ghent, Belgium, in the opera's original French-language version and received praise from critics and audiences alike. After a number of performances in Ghent, the production moved to the opera house in Antwerp for sold-out run of performances.
Projects in development or shelved
Gilliam has several projects in various states of development, including an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's and Terry Pratchett's comic fantasy novel Good Omens. Other projects Gilliam has been trying to get off the ground since the 1990s are an adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (starring Mel Gibson), an adaptation of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (which has been adapted into movies several times before), and a script titled The Defective Detective, that Gilliam has co-authored with Richard LaGravenese (who wrote Gilliam's The Fisher King). While promoting the US theatrical release of The Zero Theorem, Gilliam revealed he and LaGravenese were meeting to see if The Defective Detective script could be made into a mini-series. If this comes together, it would be the first time Gilliam has ever helmed for television. Stanley Kubrick had Gilliam in mind to direct a sequel to Dr. Strangelove.
It was rumoured that Gilliam may direct – or be involved in the production of – the animated band Gorillaz' movie. In a September 2006 interview with Uncut, Damon Albarn was reported saying "... we're making a film. We've got Terry Gilliam involved." However, in a more recent interview with Gorillaz-Unofficial, Jamie Hewlett, the co-creator of the band, stated that since the time of the previous interview, Damon's and his own fixation on the film had lessened. In an August 2008 Observer interview, Gorillaz band members Albarn and Hewlett revealed the nature and title of the project, Journey to the West, a movie adaptation of the opera of the same name based on a 16th-century Chinese adventure story also known as Monkey. In January 2008, while on set of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Gilliam stated that he was looking forward to the project, "But I'm still waiting to see a script!"
After regaining the rights to the screenplay of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Gilliam restarted pre-production in 2008, with Johnny Depp still attached to the project. The film will be reshot completely, and Rochefort's role will be recast. Michael Palin reportedly entered talks with Gilliam to step in for Rochefort and play Don Quixote. However, Gilliam revealed on Canadian talk show The Hour on 17 December 2009, that Robert Duvall had been cast to play Quixote, before the film was postponed once again. In January 2014, Gilliam published a news on Facebook announcing "Dreams of Don Quixote have begun again". At the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, it was confirmed that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was going to be made, with Michael Palin and Adam Driver in starring roles.
On 16 December 2010, Variety reported that Gilliam is to "godfather" a film called 1884 which is described as an animated steampunk parody of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, with several former Pythons lending their voice talents to the project whereas Gilliam will be credited as "creative advisor".
In October 2015, in a webchat hosted by The Guardian, Terry Gilliam announced that he was working on "a TV series based on Time Bandits, [and] another based on a script by Richard LaGravanese and I wrote after Fisher King, called The Defective Detective."
Gilliam has been involved with a number of charitable and humanitarian causes. In 2009, Gilliam became a board member of Videre Est Credere (Latin for "to see is to believe") a UK Human Rights Charity. Videre describes itself as "give[ing] local activists the equipment, training and support needed to safely capture compelling video evidence of human rights violations. This captured footage is verified, analysed and then distributed to those who can create change." He participates alongside movie producer Uri Fruchtmann, music producer Brian Eno and Executive Director of Greenpeace UK John Sauven.
Gilliam has been married to British make-up and costume designer Maggie Weston since 1973. She worked on Monty Python's Flying Circus, many of the Python movies, and Gilliam's movies up to The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. They have three children, Amy Rainbow Gilliam (born 1978), Holly Dubois Gilliam (born in October 1980), and Harry Thunder Gilliam (born on 3 April 1988), who have also appeared in and/or worked on several of Gilliam's films.
In 1968, Gilliam obtained British citizenship, then held dual American and British citizenship for the next 38 years. In January 2006 he renounced his American citizenship. In an interview with Der Tagesspiegel, he described the action as a protest against then-President George W. Bush, and in an earlier interview with The A.V. Club, he also indicated that it was related to concerns about future tax liability for his wife and children. As a result of renouncing his citizenship, Gilliam is only permitted to spend 29 days per year in the United States, fewer than ordinary British citizens. Gilliam maintains a residence in Italy near the Umbria-Tuscany border. He has been instrumental in establishing the annual Umbria Film Festival, held in the nearby hill town of Montone. Gilliam also resides in North London.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, co-directed with Terry Jones)
- Jabberwocky (1977)
- 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)
- The Brothers Grimm (2005)
- Tideland (2005)
- The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
- The Zero Theorem (2013)
- The Unfinished Swan (2012)
Awards, nominations and honours
- Time Bandits (1981)
- Brazil (1985)
- The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
- 4 Academy Awards nominations Best Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup
- 3 BAFTA Awards Best Costume Design, Best Make Up Artist, Best Production Design, 1 BAFTA Award nomination Best Special Effects
- 3 Silver Ribbons awarded by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design
- 4 Saturn Awards nominations Best Fantasy Film, Best Costumes, Best Make-Up, Best Special Effects
- Hugo Award nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation
- The Fisher King (1991)
- Academy Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mercedes Ruehl)
- 4 Academy Awards nominations Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robin Williams), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Music, Original Score, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
- 2 Golden Globes Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical (Robin Williams), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Mercedes Ruehl)
- 3 Golden Globes nominations Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Jeff Bridges)
- 2 BAFTA Awards nominations Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Amanda Plummer), Best Screenplay-Original
- Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
- 6 Saturn Awards nominations Best Fantasy Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Robin Williams), Best Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Writing, Best Costumes
- Venice Film Festival Silver Lion Winner
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
- 4 Los Angeles Film Critics Association nominations Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Plummer), Best Screenplay
- Toronto Film Festival People's Choice Award Winner
- 12 Monkeys (1995)
- 2 Academy Awards nominations Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Brad Pitt), Best Costume Design
- Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Brad Pitt)
- 3 Saturn Awards Best Science Fiction Film, Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Costumes
- 4 Saturn Awards nominations Best Director, Best Actor (Bruce Willis), Best Actress (Madeleine Stowe), Best Writing
- Empire Award Best Director
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
- The Brothers Grimm (2005)
- Venice Film Festival Official Selection
- Tideland (2005)
- The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
- 2 Academy Awards nominations Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction
- 2 BAFTA Awards nominations Best Production Design, Best Make Up & Hair
- 2 Saturn Awards nominations Best International Film, Best Make-Up
- 2 Empire Awards nominations Best British Film, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
- Best Fantasy Film nomination by the Costume Designers Guild of America
- British Independent Film Awards nomination for Best Achievement in Production
- International Press Academy Satellite Award Best Costume Design, 3 more nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction & Production Design, Best Original Song
- Voted Best Fantasy Film of the Year by readers of the Total Sci-Fi Online magazine.
- An asteroid, 9619 Terrygilliam, is named in his honour.
- Gilliam was given the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award in 2009 for his contribution to motion picture arts.
- Gilliam was also given a BAFTA Special Award in 1969 for the graphics and animations in Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Terry Gilliam awarded the Fellowship of the Kermodes, by film critic Mark Kermode.
- Gilliam was honoured with the Director with Unique Visual Sensitivity Award at the Camerimage film festival in Łódź, Poland in 2009.
- Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
- Knight (2013)
- "Terry Gilliam". Desert Island Discs. 15 April 2011. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "BBC Music biography". BBC Music. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
- The Pythons: Autobiography by The Pythons. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. 2005. ISBN 978-0312311452.
- Gilliam, Terry; Sterritt, David; Rhodes, Lucille (April 2004). Terry Gilliam: interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-57806-624-7. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
Mad comics inspired everything we ever did. (p. 67)
- "Terry Gilliam '62 Honored by British Film Academy". Oxy. Occidental College. 9 February 2009.
- "Salman Rushdie talks with Terry Gilliam", The Believer, March 2003
- Animations of Mortality on Amazon.com
- Dreams: Terry Gilliam Books, on Dreams: The Terry Gilliam fanzine
- Cate, Hans ten (1996) "ANIMATIONS OF MORTALITY:" TERRY GILLIAM'S NEW INTERACTIVE CD-ROM GAME, on Monty Python's Daily Llama, 16 January 1996
- Sterrit, David; Rhodes, Lucille (publ., 2004). Terry Gilliam: Interviews, Uiv. Press of Mississippi, 2004
- Entry for Enteractive, Inc. on MobyGames.com
- Matthews, Jack (1996). Dreaming Brazil (essay accompanying The Criterion Collection DVD release).
- Pirie, Chris (2002). "Gilliam the Snake Charmer", Imagine Magazine (backed up on Dreams by Phil Stubbs, used with permission
- on YouTube on RoundhouseTV, uploaded by RoundhouseTV themselves
- Stubbs, Phil (2008). Charles McKeown on writing the Dr Parnassus script, Dreams
- "The clash between the baroque and the Newtonian view of the world is my message in a bottle.", Dreams: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
- "In Weber's view, the technological world of modernity tries to eliminate any need for magic, fantasy, or any irrational forces. Gilliam presents this idea of change 'from without' through certain aspects of his mise-en-scene.", Hamel, Keith James. Modernity and Mise-en-scene: Terry Gilliam and Brazil, from Images: Journal of Film and Popular Culture, issue 6
- Blog, Chaz's. "The Brothers Grimm Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Stubbs, Phil (2011). Dreams: Nicola Pecorini on The Wholly Family, Dreams: The Terry Gilliam Fanzine
- Stubbs, Phil: "Terry Gilliam talks Tideland," Dreams
- Bianculli, David (2009). "Gilliam's 'Imaginarium': Surreal And All-Too-Real", 21-minute streaming radio interview (quote taken from host's question and Gilliam's answer at running times 16:23–18:34) on the program Fresh Air on National Public Radio, 22 December 2009
- Sheehan, Henry (2006). "A shot to remember: Terry Gilliam on Brazil's rescue scene", DGA Quarterly, Fall 2006 Archived 3 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Shell, Theresa (2009). "EXCLUSIVE! Nicola Picorini, Director Of Photography, Talks To Dr. Parnassus Support Site About The Film, Heath Ledger & Terry Gilliam"
- "Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. 20 June 1989. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Berra, John (2008). Declarations of independence: American cinema and the partiality of independent production. Intellect Books. pp. 60–1. ISBN 978-1-84150-185-7. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- Ebert, Roger (November 2005). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2006. Andrews McMeel Publishing. pp. 400–1. ISBN 978-0-7407-5538-5. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- "Dreams: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote". Smart.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Haen, Theo d'.; Dhondt, Reindert (5 May 2009). International Don Quixote. Rodopi. p. 254. ISBN 978-90-420-2583-7. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- Alica-Azania Jarvis (4 August 2008). "Pandora: Don Quixote rides again, says delighted Gilliam". The Independent (UK). Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
- "Terry Gilliam".
- IMDb: Biography for Terry Gilliam. Retrieved 22 April 2007.
- "Terry Gilliam Bitter About Potter". Wizardnews.com. 29 August 2005. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Terry Gilliam Tilts at Hollywood Yet Again". MTV. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- "Gilliam Vows Never To Direct Harry Potter". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One". The Scotsman (UK). Retrieved 12 April 2011.
- "Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Review". We Got This Covered (Movies). Retrieved 12 April 2011.
- "'The Secret Tournament' – the Nike World Cup 2002 Advert". BBC. 24 July 2002. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Shawn Adler (15 November 2007). "Ledger A Big Joker When It Comes To New Gilliam Film". MTV. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Dreams: The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, a Terry Gilliam film". Smart.co.uk. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Stubbs, Phil. "The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus". Dreams. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
- "Gilliam, Ledger reteam for film". Variety. 31 October 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- Adam Dawtrey (23 January 2008). "'Parnassus' team faces dilemma". Variety. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
- Christine Kilpatrick (24 January 2008). "Production Suspended on Heath Ledger's Latest Movie". People. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- "Moriarty" (15 February 2008). "AICN EXCLUSIVE! We Know Who's Paying Tribute To Heath Ledger in DR. PARNASSUS Now!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
...we're going to see Heath Ledger's work in Terry Gilliam's new film, and that we're also going to see three very interesting actors step up to offer interpretations of him...now we've got the names verified... JOHNNY DEPP. ... JUDE LAW. ... COLIN FARRELL.
- Shawn Adler (15 February 2008). "Heath Ledger's Final Film To Go Forward – With Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell in His Role". MTV. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
Report: The three actors have signed on to complete film. ... Heath Ledger died last month at the age of 28, but his final performance will live on – thanks to a little creativity and some famous friends. ... Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell have all signed on to film scenes as Ledger's character in Terry Gilliam's 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' a magical re-telling of the Faust story, according to Aintitcoolnews.com. The announcement serves as a tribute to the man many have called one of the best actors of his generation.
- "Dreams: 2008 News Blog". Smart.co.uk. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- ParnassusFilm. "Parnassus Film (ParnassusFilm) on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Dreams: 2009 News Blog". Smart.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Hugh Hart (7 January 2010). "How Terry Gilliam Weathered Loss of Heath Ledger to Finish Fanciful Imaginarium". Wired. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Jessica Salter (18 August 2008). "Heath Ledger's daughter given wages of stars in Terry Gilliam's Dr. Parnassus". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 18 August 2008.
- Lyman, Eric. J. (2012)Terry Gilliam: 'Don Quixote' Postponed Again, But Bucharest Calls (Q&A), The Hollywood Reporter, 7 July 2012
- McGarry, Lisa (2012). Britain’s Got Talent: David Walliams lands role in new Johnny Depp flick as Amanda Holden says "he can be dark", Unreality TV, 10 July 2012
- Connelly, Brendon (2012). Johnny Depp Teaming Up With Wes Anderson For The Grand Budapest Hotel, Bleeding Cool, 16 July 2012
- Ciuverca, Florentina (2012). Terry Gilliam a ales România pentru noul său film, Filmreporter.ro, 17 July 2012. Google Translate for the first paragraph: "One of the most celebrated contemporary directors, Terry Gilliam, plans to shoot next production in Romania, according to U.S. media. Sources confirm to Filmreporter.ro that shooting could occur in MediaPro Studios located in Buftea in the coming months."
- Billington, Alex (2012). Terry Gilliam's Latest Existential Head Trip Will Star Christoph Waltz, Firstshowing.net, 13 August 2012
- White, James (2012). Waltz Figures Out The Zero Theorem: Terry Gilliam's latest!, Empire, 13 August 2012
- Eisenberg, Eric (2012). Christoph Waltz To Star In Terry Gilliam's Zero Theorem, Cinema Blend, 13 August 2012
- Fleming, Mike (2012). UPDATE: Toronto: Terry Gilliam Confirms Christoph Waltz For ‘Zero Theorem’, 14 August 2012
- Serafino, Jason (2012). Christoph Waltz Signs On For Terry Gilliam’s “Zero Theorem”, Complex, 14 August 2012
- Schafer, Sandy (2012). Terry Gilliam is Making ‘The Zero Theorem’ With Christoph Waltz, screenrant.com, 14 August 2012
- Brown, Todd (2012).Terry Gilliam Resurrects THE ZERO THEOREM With Christoph Waltz, Twitch Film, 14 August 2012
- Jagernauth, Kevin (14 July 2013). "Terry Gilliam Says 'The Zero Theorem' Headed To Venice Film Festival; Jessica Chastain's 'Eleanor Rigby' Also Rumored". blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "2 September". www.labiennale.org. Venice Film Festival. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "The Damnation of Faust". ENO. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
- Rupert Christiansen (9 May 2011). "Terry Gilliam's first opera is a damned fine glimpse of the abyss". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- Andrew Clements (7 May 2011). "The Damnation of Faust – review". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- Jessica Duchen (9 May 2011). "The Damnation of Faust, English National Opera". The Independent (London). Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- Opera on 3 – Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (30 June 2014)
- "Batman's Become A Religion And More From The Zero Theorem's Terry Gilliam". cinemablend.com.
- Brown, Todd (October 12, 2013). "Stanley Kubrick Wanted Terry Gilliam To Direct SON OF STRANGELOVE". Twitch Film. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- Williamson, Nigel (2006). "West London Calling". Uncut. Retrieved 11 October 2006.
- Monkey magic, The Observer, 10 August 2008
- Alica-Azania Jarvis (4 August 2008). "Pandora: Don Quixote rides again, says delighted Gilliam". The Independent (UK). Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
- "Monty Python – Palin to act alongside Depp?". Contact Music. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
- "Episode 61 – The Hour". CBC News.
- "Terry Gilliam – Timeline Photos – Facebook". facebook.com.
- Skinner, Craig (2016). EXCLUSIVE: TERRY GILLIAM’S THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE TO STAR ADAM DRIVER AND MICHAEL PALIN; NEW CONCEPT ART UNCOVERED, Flickreel.com, 11 May 2016
- Hopewell, John; Keslassy, Elsa (2010). Gilliam to godfather '1884': Tim Ollive to helm retro sci-fi fantasy, Variety, 16 December 2010
- Fischer, Russ (2011). Terry Gilliam Crafting a Script Based on Paul Auster Novel ‘Mr. Vertigo’, Slashfilm.com, 28 July 2011
- Connelly, Brendon (2011).Paul Auster Has Co-Written The Mr. Vertigo Screenplay With Terry Gilliam, Bleeding Cool, 19 August 2011
- Lambie, Ryan (14 July 2014). "Laika Chasing Terry Gilliam for an animated film". Den of Geek. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "Terry Gilliam webchat – as it happened". the Guardian.
- UK Charity Commission, UK Charity Commission Report on Videre, UK Charity Commission, 23 July 2013
- Videre Est Credere, Videre Website, Videre Est Credere, 23 July 2013
- CBS News "ShowBUZZ": Terry Gilliam Sounds Off, 6 October 2006
- (10 February 2006). Kopflos am Potsdamer Platz. tagesspiegel ((German). Retrieved 28 April 2014)
- Gross, David M. (2014). 99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns. Picket Line Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-1490572741.
- "Umbria Film Festival web site". Umbriafilmfestival.com. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Terry Gilliam on Python and Renouncing America at YouTube
- "Festival de Cannes: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
- "2005 FIPRESCI". Fipresci.org. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Film Winners in 2009". bafta.org. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
- "BBC – The Culture Show: The Kermodes 2009: For the Record". BBC. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
- Terry Gilliam Presents Dr. P and Receives Honor At Plus Camerimage Fest In Lodz Poland 11/29, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Support site, Saturday, 28 November 2009
- Gilliam, Terry; Sterritt, David; Rhodes, Lucille (April 2004). Terry Gilliam: interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-624-7. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- Gilliam, Terry; Christie, Ian (1999). Gilliam on Gilliam. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-20280-5. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- McCabe, Bob; Gilliam, Terry (30 September 1999). Dark Knights And Holy Fools: The Art And Films of Terry Gilliam. Diane Pub Co. ISBN 978-0-7567-9080-6. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- Wilmut, Roger (1980). From fringe to flying circus: celebrating a unique generation of comedy, 1960–1980. Eyre Methuen. ISBN 978-0-413-46950-2. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
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