Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’  Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’ Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel'  Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel' 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See The 10 Best Films Of 2007 The 10 Best Films Of 2007 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Terry Gilliam: My Life In 8 Movies

The Playlist By Jessica Kiang | The Playlist February 4, 2014 at 3:27PM

3
Terry Gilliam

Kicking off what may be a semi-regular series, the wonderful Terry Gilliam proved totally game for the challenge when we found we had a few minutes to spare at the end of our interview at the Göteborg International Film Festival (you can find the rest of it here). Essentially, the idea is that while we're interested in our favorite filmmakers’ films, we’re also interested in what they’re interested in, and we hope you might be too. 

So we’ve drawn up a list of questions about films that influenced them personally or professionally, in the hopes of prompting a few illuminating answers. Gilliam did not disappoint, bringing his trademark chatty honesty to bear, though it’s only fair that we point out that this was entirely dropped on him at the last moment, and, unlike potential future recruits, he had zero time to prepare. So bearing in mind that on another day, in another mood, or with time to mull over and revise, these answers might very well be different, here we go:

What was the first film you remember seeing?
"Snow White." Fantastic, Disney in the glory days—the Disney team was just brilliant. And the music too. The music that was written during the early Disney years was just incredible.

Thief of Bagdad

What film defined your childhood?
Hmm, I should really say “The Thief of Baghdad” is the one I remember most, because I had nightmares about it as a child. Terrified. I mean the Queen from “Snow White” was pretty good, but this one ...

Do you remember an early formative moviegoing experience?
Well, the drive-in? I can’t remember the movie, and it was the opposite of “formative” actually because I loved movies and we went to a drive in with another couple and I was all just like, “Get down! get out of the way! get off! I’m trying to watch the film here!” That was my problem at a certain age ... I still believed in movies in those days. I don’t anymore. Give me a drive-in now any day.

So how about your best moviegoing experience?
One of my best was when I saw “One Eyed Jacks” and it was in some terrible cinema on 42nd Street and I had no money, so I sat there and I had to sit thorough some terrible second feature—that was in the days where they’d show second features—all the way through just so I could watch “One Eyed Jacks” again.

And is there an “epiphany film” that most influenced your later work?
Not quite an epiphany, but there was “Paths of Glory.” It was a Saturday matinee show in the San Fernando Valley and parents would dump their kids at the cinema and I was probably 14, something like that, and there it was, this film that was about injustice. It was two things: first here was technology that I’d never been aware of, the tracking shots through the trenches which of course I copied in “Brazil,” but I’d never been aware of the camera before that film and the second thing was that you talk about injustice in the film, you could talk about big themes, ideas.

This article is related to: Terry Gilliam, Göteborg International Film Festival, Interviews, Interview, Features, Feature, Interviews, The Movies That Changed My Life


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates