The imaginarium of Terry Gilliam
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BA (Hons) in Film Studies
Dublin Business School
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Terry Gilliam’s career started out in animation but he always wanted to make films. He began directing films when he was part of the famous comedy group Monty Python. His first filmmaking experience was when co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Following this, he went on to direct by himself, making visually rich, thematically intelligent, and densely detailed films such as Time Bandits, Brazil, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. His adamant determination to achieve and preserve his visions leads to many disagreements with studios over budgets and the final cut of his films, as well as some of the most incredible stories of film production in cinema. His Hollywood-produced films, while not always being his own scripts, become successful as a result of his distinct and unique visual style and the performances he captures from the stars he works closely with. Gilliam’s fascinating position within the film industry is somewhere between mainstream and arthouse but is nevertheless interesting and important. This dissertation examines what exactly makes Gilliam direct the way he does - with an eye for the visual – and the many factors that turn a movie into a Gilliam film. Author keywords: Terry Gilliam, visuals, style, themes, production, Monty Python, Brazil, 12 Monkeys