Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam
4 titles, 52nd in points with 14,392

Gilliam came out the Monty Python's Flying Circus group that had a popular tv show on the BBC in England. Also in the group were comic actors John Cleese, Terry Jones and Eric Idle. Gilliam has gone on to make some of the most inventive and outrageous films ever. For me, the Monty Python ones are the worst of these, lame, sophmoric humor usually associated with lots of blood or pointless arguing by idiots (though this did lead to a great tv skit called "Argument Clinic", a satire of rehabilitation centers in general, this one feature various types of aguing).

The best are science fiction-fantasy films, like Brazil, 12 Monkeys, and Time Bandits, that place the viewer in a unique world that could only be imagined by Gilliam.

These are all the films of British director Terry Gilliam’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls. Ten titles in all made the polls, though the last four were on the bottom, barely mentioned.

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) #87 [Co-directed with Terry Jones] I don't find religious humor funny (they're already funny enough on their own)
2. Brazil (1985) #145 This is a minor masterpiece
3. 12 Monkeys (1995) #429
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) #860 Stick with the writing of Hunter S. Thompson, while the novel is hilarious throughout this reeks by comparison

out of the top 1000:
5. Monty Python- Meaning of Life (1983) #1722 [you won't find it here]
6. Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) #1926
7. Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) #2122
8. Fisher King, The (1991) #2192
9. Tideland (2005) #2192
10. Time Bandits (1981) #2192 Excellent comedy, this should be ranked in the top 1000

[Last 3 are tied for 'last' of all mentioned films with about 50 other films]

I like most of his films, they are all visual treats, though some are excessive bores (Baron von Munchausen). I think Brazil is a minor masterpiece, and features Robert De Niro in a small role as a rogue repairman the state calls a ‘dangerous terrorist’.

These are my favorites: (1) Brazil [photo left] (2) Time Bandits (3) 12 Monkeys (4) The Fisher King (5) The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [Heath Ledger’s last film, he died during filming and his part was completed by Jude Law and Johnny Depp, who all played the same character!]

Time Bandits has the biggest heart, about a child who escapes in a fantasy world which is interrupted by dwarves who steal the map of time gates from God and carry the kid on their adventures. Shelly Duvall has a hilarious part as someone who is about to be kissed at various times in history when the group literally ‘drops in’ on her. This was the first film for George Harrison’s Dark Horse film studio.

Gilliam reminds me of the quote from the Pope in The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michaelangelo, "Of course, he's a raving madman, but we put up with him because he's also a genius"

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

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