A Critical Companion to Terry Gilliam provides a fresh, up-to-date exploration of the director’s films and artistic practices, ranging from his first film Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) to his recently released and latest film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018). This volume presents Gilliam as a director whose films weave together an avant-garde cinematic style, imaginative exaggeration, and social critique. Consequently, while his films can seem artistically chaotic and thus have the effect of frustrating and upsetting the viewer, the essays in this volume show that this is part of a very disciplined creative plan to achieve the defamiliarization of various accepted notions of human and social life.
Sabine Planka is subject librarian for the humanities at the university library of FernUniversität Hagen (Germany) and visiting lecturer of children’s literature at several universities.
Ian Bekker is professor in the English Department at North-West University (South Africa).
Philip van der Merwe is senior lecturer in the School of Languages at North-West University (South Africa).
1.Terry Gilliam, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and Cinephilia
2.Ideology Through the Looking Glass: Terry Gilliam’s Lewis Carroll and the Politics of Comedy in Jabberwocky and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
3.Carnival and the Imaging of Language in Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky (1977) and Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)
4.Subversion of the Cosmos in Time Bandits
5.“‘I Think It Has Something to Do with Free Will’: Time Bandits as Gilliam’s Theodicy”
Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.
6.“Meet to Eat. The Restaurant as Narrative Setting in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985) and The Fisher King (1991)”
7.“A Bittersweet Apocalypse: Averted Endings and Suspended Hope in 12 Monkeys” Andrew Grossman
8.“The Art of Deserts in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”
Philip van der Merwe
9.“Between the Forest and Civilization: Liminal Spaces in Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm (2005)”
Sabine Planka and Philip van der Merwe
10.“Tideland and the Ossification of the Imaginary Faculties”
11.“Wonderland and the Wasteland: The Colorfully Dirty Mise en Scene of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009)”
12. “Black Hole: The Zero Theorem and the Pointless Quest,”
13.“The Zerø and One Theorem: A Meta/Physics of the Digital,”
Afterword: Gilliam’s Legacy
Terry Gilliam has stood the test of time, and he’s still making art! It has been a decade since the last comprehensive review of his work and the time is right for another in-depth look at one of cinema’s most curious minds. Gilliam’s films from the Hollywood borderlands, both old and new, continue to animate and intrigue us in new and exciting ways. A Critical Companion to Terry Gilliam is a must-read and a must-think-about collection for anyone interested in Gilliam and his many worlds, worlds which overlap with our own.
A Critical Companion to Terry Gilliam offers an excellent tribute to the quixotic filmmaker and an expansive collection of fresh approaches to his work. These essays reveal new insights about his genre-skewering films and the intriguing ways of thinking that they inspire. This lively volume engages Gilliam’s playfully apocalyptic visions on technology and society and what they have to say about our current moment as well as the systems that define our existence. This book will appeal to scholars, students, and fans alike.