Terry Gilliam

By Peter Marks

Terry Gilliam

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7032-7
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: August 2009
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Film scripts & screenplays, Film history, theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers, The arts / Film scripts & screenplays
  • Series: British Film-Makers


Terry Gilliam presents a sustained examination of one of cinema's most challenging and lauded auteurs, proposing fresh ways of seeing Gilliam that go beyond reductive readings of him as a gifted but manic fantasist. Analysing Gilliam's work over nearly four decades, from the brilliant anarchy of his Monty Python animations through the nightmarish masterpiece Brazil to the provocative Gothic horror of Tideland, it critically examines the variety and richness of Gilliam's sometimes troubled but always provocative output.

The book situates Gilliam within the competing cultural contexts of the British, European and American film industries, examining his regular struggles against aesthetic and commercial pressures. He emerges as a passionate, immensely creative director, whose work encompasses a dizzying array of material: anarchic satire, childhood and adult fantasy, dystopia, romantic comedy, surrealism, road movie, fairy tale and the Gothic. The book charts how Gilliam interweaves these genres and forms to create magical interfaces between reality and the illuminating, frightening but liberating worlds of the imagination.

Scrutinising the neglected importance of literature and adaptation in Gilliam's career, this study also observes him through the lenses of auteurism, genre, performance, design and national culture, explaining how someone born in Minnesota and raised in California came to be one of British television and film's most compelling figures.


List of plates
Series editors' foreword
1. Introduction
2. Something completely different
3. Monsters and gods
4. Time and meaning
5. Dreams, fantasies and nightmares
6. Pasts, presents and futures in America
7. Transatlantic Gonzo
8. Fairy tales, nightmares and fantasies


Peter Marks is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Sydney

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