counter Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

The screenwriter, innovative animator, highly acclaimed visionary film director, and only non-British member of Monty Python offers an intimate glimpse into his world in this fascinating memoir illustrated with hand-drawn sketches, notes, and memorabilia from his personal archive. From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Holl The screenwriter, innovative animator, highly acclaimed visionary film director, and only non-British member of Monty Python offers an intimate glimpse into his world in this fascinating memoir illustrated with hand-drawn sketches, notes, and memorabilia from his personal archive. From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Hollywood had to offer, via the cutting edge of 1960s and ’70s counter-culture in New York, L.A. and London, Terry Gilliam’s life has been as vivid, entertaining and unorthodox as one of his films. Telling his story for the first time, the director of Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas—not to mention co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus—recalls his life so far. Packed with never-before-seen artwork, photographs and commentary, Gilliamesque blends the visual and the verbal with scabrous wit and fascinating insight. Gilliam’s “pre-posthumous memoir” also features a cast of amazing supporting characters—George Harrison, Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger and all of the fellow Pythons—as well as cameo appearances from some of the heaviest cultural hitters of modern times, from Woody Allen to Frank Zappa, Gloria Steinem to Robert Crumb, Richard Nixon to Hunter S. Thompson. Gilliam’s encounters with the great and the not-so-good are revealing, funny, and hugely entertaining. This book is an unrestrained look into a unique creative mind and an incomparable portrait of late twentieth-century popular culture.


Compare

The screenwriter, innovative animator, highly acclaimed visionary film director, and only non-British member of Monty Python offers an intimate glimpse into his world in this fascinating memoir illustrated with hand-drawn sketches, notes, and memorabilia from his personal archive. From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Holl The screenwriter, innovative animator, highly acclaimed visionary film director, and only non-British member of Monty Python offers an intimate glimpse into his world in this fascinating memoir illustrated with hand-drawn sketches, notes, and memorabilia from his personal archive. From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Hollywood had to offer, via the cutting edge of 1960s and ’70s counter-culture in New York, L.A. and London, Terry Gilliam’s life has been as vivid, entertaining and unorthodox as one of his films. Telling his story for the first time, the director of Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas—not to mention co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus—recalls his life so far. Packed with never-before-seen artwork, photographs and commentary, Gilliamesque blends the visual and the verbal with scabrous wit and fascinating insight. Gilliam’s “pre-posthumous memoir” also features a cast of amazing supporting characters—George Harrison, Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger and all of the fellow Pythons—as well as cameo appearances from some of the heaviest cultural hitters of modern times, from Woody Allen to Frank Zappa, Gloria Steinem to Robert Crumb, Richard Nixon to Hunter S. Thompson. Gilliam’s encounters with the great and the not-so-good are revealing, funny, and hugely entertaining. This book is an unrestrained look into a unique creative mind and an incomparable portrait of late twentieth-century popular culture.

30 review for Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    And now for something completely different. If you are looking for a rock-‘em sock’ em tell all of Terry Gilliam’s Python days, this is not the volume for you. Gilliam says that other Python biographies have taken care of that. And in any case It was never intended to have been that. It was Holly, my daughter, had assembled all the art work I had done since childhood, and it was me talking about art. It was supposed to be a classy, classy book, for intelligent, sophisticated rich people. And as And now for something completely different. If you are looking for a rock-‘em sock’ em tell all of Terry Gilliam’s Python days, this is not the volume for you. Gilliam says that other Python biographies have taken care of that. And in any case It was never intended to have been that. It was Holly, my daughter, had assembled all the art work I had done since childhood, and it was me talking about art. It was supposed to be a classy, classy book, for intelligent, sophisticated rich people. And as I babbled on…I want to make it very clear that John Cleese was very snippy about the fact that I didn’t actually write it, but I talked it into a microphone. I like to think of it myself as a 21st century Homer…He did the Iliad and the Odyssey from memory, so my life, I managed to get most of it done, but because it wasn’t supposed to be a complete autobiography, all the really good stories aren’t in there. You have to wait ‘til the next one. What you do get is a fairly interesting look at someone who has been in the center of certain portions of the arts world for pretty much his entire adult life Physically, Gilliamesque certainly looks more like an art book than an autobiography. It is larger, at 7.5x10 inches, as opposed to a 6x9 inch hardcover. The paper is of the heavy, glossy sort, and the text is liberally accompanied by images. These include a good supply of family and personal snaps, shots of Gilliam’s heroes, early drawings, large quantities of the material for which he first gained international notice, his Python animations, lots of his work, published and not, from all stages of his artistic life and plenty of shots from his sundry cinematic endeavors. The book is visually stimulating, with diverse material splattered onto the pages, doing a great job of breaking up the text. Terry Gilliam was born in 1940 and spent his earliest years in Minnesota. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was eleven. He drew early inspiration from sources like Sid Caesar, Ernie Kovacs, Disney and Mad comics (before the magazine). After college he headed to New York, presenting himself at the workplace of one of his comic art heroes, Howard Kurtzman, late of Mad Magazine, and then publishing Help! Magazine. By a happy coincidence Kurtzman was down an artist and Gilliam lucked into a cherished job, doing what he had wanted to do, on his first try. Working with Kurtzman did nothing to make the young artist rich, but it was an entrée into the art world. He got a hands-on education, and exposure to people whose names he now drops. It was also the place where he further developed a style of illustration he had come across called Fumetti, which uses text bubbles atop photographs of actual people, places and things. The Fumetti approach would be seminal in Gilliam developing the style he would use later in Python. He began making short films with his work pals. The Fumetti style also offered an intro to laying out storyboards, a significant skill for anyone aspiring to direct. Gilliam is an entertaining story-teller, quite aware that there is a lot in his early life that is not really all that compelling. He had a nice, happy, middle-class childhood. It gets a bit more interesting as he grows up. There is plenty of silliness to go around. But Terry Gilliam is no Robin Williamsesque madman chewing up scenery and reveling in mayhem. Unlike his wild concoctions that stomped, flew, and spewed across the Python shows, Gilliam the person has a sense of humor that is fairly low key, Midwestern, just folks, with a bit of a devilish wink, and a prankster’s gleam. This also comes across when you see him interviewed (several links at bottom), as does an occasional undertone, and sometimes overtone of nastiness. It was while he was living and working in New York that he attended a comedy show called “Cambridge Circus.” The performers in the troupe included John Cleese and Graham Chapman. Friendships were formed. Viet Nam had become a thing, and Gilliam did what many with no draft deferment and no desire to fight in a jungle on the other side of the world did. He joined the National Guard. Of course, having to actually do all the training was not particularly appealing, so he managed to scam his way out of most of it, not exactly establishing a high ethical tone. This, at a time when the Guard was not being used, or even, really, considered for combat. Back in LA he got work in advertising. Made more connections, the most significant of which was Cambridge-educated English journalist Glenys Robert. One thing led to another. He joined her when she went to London to take charge of a small magazine, was a kept man for a bit but kept busy seeking out and finding illustration employment. And then, magically, was taken on as an art director at the publication his gf was running. It’s fair to say that my entrance into English society was not at the basement level. Glenys knew a lot of people and they were a smart and well-connected crowd. That did not work out for the long term. He sold some comedy sketches to a children’s show called Do Not Adjust Your Set. The cast included Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Eric Idle. He got another gig for the same producer, working on a TV show drawing caricatures of the guests. Idle was a panelist on that show as well. It was while working there that he made his first animation. It was well received. Offers of work started pouring in. It was not long after this that MPFC was born. Gilliam had maintained contact with Cleese and Chapman, and with Idle, Palin and Terry Jones, they found kindred spirits. BBC took a chance on the lads. Seven shows or bust. The rest is history. Gilliam’s part was to draw the sketch-connecting animations, and in that role he was able to remain out of the line of fire as the other five competed over whose ideas would be used. There is not a lot on the personal interplay. He tells of their sudden rock-stardom. But adds a bit of bitchiness. …It was exciting to be treated like rock stars (although comedy groupies were a very different animal to the rock star variety—far less beautiful, but they had lots of personality, and we owed them a great debt of thanks for helping us keep our vows of celibacy). What a guy! He writes a bit about his animation technique. I came across a wonderful video in which he shows how he goes about it. Wonderful stuff. There is a link in Extra Stuff. Gilliam is known for directing some of the most distinctive and highly regarded films of his time. These include Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. More ink (or voice-tape time) is dedicated to directing than anything else. And it is this that is most interesting, the challenges involved in coping with the Hollywood system the challenges of coping with two separate leading men on two separate films dying during production, dealing with the peculiarities of big personalities, huge stars, great talent, lesser talent, and tight budgets. I thought his telling of directorial woes, challenges, failures and triumphs was worth the price of admission. There were few downsides to the book. First, the telling of his early years was rather uninteresting. I had hoped for more about his Python years and interactions with the rest of that crew. I have not read the other memoirs to which he refers, so remain largely in the dark. I was taken aback at how cavalierly he gamed the system to evade his National Guard training obligations, and then used his newfound success to lawyer his way out of it entirely. While I can appreciate that he might have felt more comfortable in England than he did in the USA, ultimately he ditched his US citizenship over the issue of taxes. Maybe not the highest quality human being walking the earth. So what is one to make of all this? Gilliam has an amazing visual sense, and a very effective visual sense of humor. The book is indeed more about his art than his life and there is a lot in here about his artistic journey from Minnesota to the most famous circus of its era. The book offers a cornucopia of images, a considerable strength. He is an entertaining story-teller, with a lifetime of encounters with familiar names and tales to tell, some of them surprising and a fair number uproarious. He talks a lot about his experiences as a director and this is pretty wonderful. So, if you don’t mind his personal downside, his professional upsides and insight make Gilliamesque worth a look. Publication – 10/20/2015 Review posted – 5/20/16 =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages Nifty vid of how TG makes his animations Interviews ----- A nice, long one from IntelligenceSquared -----with Sam Rubin at Live Talks Los Angeles ----- A somewhat tetchy one on The Colbert Report A piece from Vulture - The Man Who Was Almost Killed by Don Quixote - by Bilge Ebiri - on his upcoming (finally) film - the ff Photo is from the article. The film was finally released in 2018, with USA release in 2019, and UK release in 2020. photo credit Jim Naughten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    I almost didn't sign up for this Goodreads giveaway, as biography/memoir is my least favorite genre. Could anything be duller than someone recounting their so-so high school years? Gilliam's memoir has a few yawns, but it's also packed with pictures and drawings that lend more of a scrapbook feel than bland autobiography, or as the man himself puts it - something closer to a Grand Theft Auto-biography: a high speed car chase . . . with lots of skids and crashes, many of the best moments whizzing I almost didn't sign up for this Goodreads giveaway, as biography/memoir is my least favorite genre. Could anything be duller than someone recounting their so-so high school years? Gilliam's memoir has a few yawns, but it's also packed with pictures and drawings that lend more of a scrapbook feel than bland autobiography, or as the man himself puts it - something closer to a Grand Theft Auto-biography: a high speed car chase . . . with lots of skids and crashes, many of the best moments whizzing by in a blur. Despite Gilliam's best efforts, the story of his early years is pretty dull, though I enjoyed having a gander at his brief stint as a model during college. Hint - he looked nothing like this - The book is packed with photos and artwork. You'll see plenty of familiar faces, including this guy - These characters - And who could ever forget - Despite being known mainly for his cut and paste animation, Gilliam is quite a talented artist as the featured caricatures and cartoons attest. His reminiscences of life with Python are lacking in detail, and indeed, Gilliam himself recommends reading Michael Palin's diaries for a more fleshed-out account. Gilliam concerns himself mostly with telling tales about his own films - Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, including the Johnny Depp Don Quixote vehicle that never got made and the movie that almost didn't get finished due to the death of Heath Ledger - The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. I particularly enjoyed an anecdote involving a vulgar story told by Marlon Brando, who Gilliam was hoping would play Vulcan in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I'm now itching to see all these films all again. Though the written content is somewhat uninspiring, Gilliam has created a visually stunning book. It was rather interesting to watch his rise from a "monosyllabic Minnesota farm boy" to an artist, actor and brilliant director who has since proven a command of many, many syllables. Here he is using syllables to discuss some deleted animations from Monty Python and the Holy Grail - http://laughingsquid.com/terry-gillia...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This brilliantly and irreverently illustrated autobiography of Monty Python’s animator, the director of a raft of fabulous films and a guy with an interesting take on Hollywood and the British film industry. “When [The Life of Brian] came out and caused so much trouble, I was in heaven. The fact that the Catholics, the Protestants and the Jews, were all simultaneously marching in protest at the film’s sacrilegious treatment of important religious themes was just the icing on the cake. It takes a This brilliantly and irreverently illustrated autobiography of Monty Python’s animator, the director of a raft of fabulous films and a guy with an interesting take on Hollywood and the British film industry. “When [The Life of Brian] came out and caused so much trouble, I was in heaven. The fact that the Catholics, the Protestants and the Jews, were all simultaneously marching in protest at the film’s sacrilegious treatment of important religious themes was just the icing on the cake. It takes a lot to bring those guys together, and we had done it by the simple expedient of causing them all offence at the same time.” (183) It all made me want to see or see again “Time Bandits,” “Brazil,” “Baron Munchausen,” “The Fisher King,” “Lost in La Mancha,” “The Brothers Grimm,” okay, pretty much all of them. If you like Monty Python, if you like the films of Terry Gilliam, I predict you will like this as much as I did. I received this book via Goodreads and Harper Collins for a fair review on 10/5/16. Thanks!

  4. 4 out of 5

    John of Canada

    If Gilliam had an opinion about someone good or bad,he is certainly not afraid to voice it.A lot of interesting history about entertainment and politics.I was interested in the processes in his artwork.It reminded me of Sally Mann and how her technique was made up as she went along.3.5 stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    I wish this had been longer. I've long been a Monty Python fan as well as a Terry Gilliam fan (ever since seeing Brazil in its initial theatrical run), so I suppose no single volume could ever satisfy me completely. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, not letting his success go to his head. Of course the book is copiously illustrated with film stills, photos, drawings, collages, etc. Just one would expect from a director noted for his visuals as well as the Pythons' resident animator. I wish this had been longer. I've long been a Monty Python fan as well as a Terry Gilliam fan (ever since seeing Brazil in its initial theatrical run), so I suppose no single volume could ever satisfy me completely. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, not letting his success go to his head. Of course the book is copiously illustrated with film stills, photos, drawings, collages, etc. Just one would expect from a director noted for his visuals as well as the Pythons' resident animator. Gilliam skims the Python years as they've been covered extensively elsewhere. In reading this, I realized that there were a few movies of his that I haven't seen yet, so I'll be addressing that lack soon. Definitely worth reading if one is a fan, and possibly even if one isn't. This is a book worth reading in physical form as I doubt an e-reader could do it justice--how would the writing on the edges of the pages be handled, for instance?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Beth Wisniewski

    A hilarious and heartwarming as well as heartbreaking look into the life and work of Terry G. as told by Terry G! Loved it!!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Heath

    A really interesting peek into the life of one of my favorite directors. It's funny, interesting, and makes me want to make more things. The only downside is that he mostly just hits the highlights of making some of his movies and there are times when I wish he would have went a little more in-depth. But it's a fun book. Go read it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I am a Monty Python fan, and I was interested in hearing the perspectives of the only American member of that group. Plus, Terry Gilliam directed "Time Bandits," which was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. His book was interesting, and he is definitely a very funny guy, with some great stories. He obviously has an artist's mentality, and I like his descriptions of the battles he fought, and continues to fight, in order to make movies the way he likes to make them. I respect that, even t I am a Monty Python fan, and I was interested in hearing the perspectives of the only American member of that group. Plus, Terry Gilliam directed "Time Bandits," which was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. His book was interesting, and he is definitely a very funny guy, with some great stories. He obviously has an artist's mentality, and I like his descriptions of the battles he fought, and continues to fight, in order to make movies the way he likes to make them. I respect that, even though I don't necessarily love all of his movies. He is in no way formulaic, and I don't think he is too concerned with producing or marketing a piece of mass media. He wants his art to come together to be whatever it is supposed to be, and there are nowhere near enough people making movies today who share that sentiment. He seems to think, and I agree, that the fact that Marvel Comics has taken over Hollywood is a pretty devastating blow to movies in general, because let's face it, most of those movies are pure shit. Along with his artist's temperament, he obviously has a long memory for people who have either critiqued him or genuinely gotten in his way, and many of them are named in this book. That was of less interest to me, but it sort of goes along with the package. The writing style was very stream-of-consciousness, and he bounces pretty quickly from one topic to the next. I, of course, was hoping he'd spend more time on the Monty Python years and how all of that came together, but he had too many other things he wanted to get into. It almost sounds like he was narrating the whole thing, just talking into a recorder that then transferred what he said into the written word. That's not necessarily a bad way for someone to write a book, especially for someone who clearly has a quick wit and a sense of humor. But I was hoping for something that went a little deeper.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm Frawley

    Terry Gilliam has spoken through his art & films throughout his creative life but it's rewarding to now read his story in his own words. The term is too easily thrown around these days but Gilliam, for me, is an actual visionary & his films (Brazil, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King, The Adventures Of Baron Munchhausen - my personal favourite, etc etc) have created worlds that overlap with the one the rest of us live in. Unlike many film directors, he credits his collaborators for much of what ends up Terry Gilliam has spoken through his art & films throughout his creative life but it's rewarding to now read his story in his own words. The term is too easily thrown around these days but Gilliam, for me, is an actual visionary & his films (Brazil, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King, The Adventures Of Baron Munchhausen - my personal favourite, etc etc) have created worlds that overlap with the one the rest of us live in. Unlike many film directors, he credits his collaborators for much of what ends up on the screen, but his personal vision is obvious in all his work. His life story is told in an entertaining fashion & we get a clear sense of his personality. And the book is packed with both artwork & photographic stills from his various escapades. Most film fans will love this. I did.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tom Brookes

    I had only intended to dip into this book, but once I'd begun I ended up reading it from cover to cover. This is a highly entertaining autobiography by a unique talent. His passion, energy and self depreciating sense of humour really shine through. Highly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in his work, or Monty Python; but with enough new details for a fan like myself. Plus it's wonderful illustrated - of course, it's Gilliam!

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

    I suppose it's appropriate that the best bits were the (many) illustrations and marginalia. He really doesn't like Spielberg, does he?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    Surprisingly bland, sturdy. No drugs, for instance. But actually this is well and good - a stable life being very helpful in the production of the wild and new. Lots and lots of name-dropping, which I feel is included for our benefit rather than his; "ah, yes, recognise that one, ok". He endorses something that I, a sheltered western European, have previously felt about America, but which I assumed was a ridiculous exaggeration: Disembarking in Southampton, I remember... feeling, for the first Surprisingly bland, sturdy. No drugs, for instance. But actually this is well and good - a stable life being very helpful in the production of the wild and new. Lots and lots of name-dropping, which I feel is included for our benefit rather than his; "ah, yes, recognise that one, ok". He endorses something that I, a sheltered western European, have previously felt about America, but which I assumed was a ridiculous exaggeration: Disembarking in Southampton, I remember... feeling, for the first time in my life, totally safe - safe from people who might want to hit me, or do things to hurt me... one of the weird things about America is the feeling you get there that if someone doesn't approve of you, there's a good chance they're going to pop you one. It's probably just that go-getter American attitude which dictates that guys who don't like you feel they have to do something about it... I've to ascribe it to the fact that people in England seem to have a much better sense of personal space... They don't feel entitled to invade your territory the way Americans do - perhaps they just scratched that itch with the whole British Empire thing. I was intrigued to learn that Brando was a compulsive consequentialist: I said the only way to get [Brando] was to... tell him we'd pay him $2 million, but only if we could give the money direct to the American Indians. I think we would've got him that way, because his own moral scheme would have left him no option but to accept. The first thing about him I like. Here is one real hallucination: ...people will often be telling me that my producer is a bit of an operator, and my reply to them is generally "Well, that may very well be true, but I'm only interested in one thing, and that's getting the film done - whether or not I get screwed in the process"... we got two films made together, and no amount of documentaries about his pivotal role in the Israeli nuclear weapons programme can change that. 3/5.. Skip to chapter 7 in fact.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Fish

    Of all the Pythons, Terry Gilliam has made the most impact beyond the troupe. His films, whilst occasionally difficult and usually overbudget, have a creative vision that few other directors can boast. And yet he still carries the scars of feeling like the stupid one compared to his eloquent fellows. Fittingly, therefore, his "pre-posthumous memoir" is not a dense and detailed biography as afforded to John Cleese or Michael Palin, but a lavishly illustrated series of anecdotes going through Gill Of all the Pythons, Terry Gilliam has made the most impact beyond the troupe. His films, whilst occasionally difficult and usually overbudget, have a creative vision that few other directors can boast. And yet he still carries the scars of feeling like the stupid one compared to his eloquent fellows. Fittingly, therefore, his "pre-posthumous memoir" is not a dense and detailed biography as afforded to John Cleese or Michael Palin, but a lavishly illustrated series of anecdotes going through Gilliam's life from his upbringing in America to the Python reunion a couple of years ago. It is, however, his own creation - as ever, Gilliam remains stubbornly insistent on creative control. And it's a fascinating read. In abandoning his home country for England, Gilliam was something of a pioneer of American emigration, and his stories of avoiding the Vietnam draft, of carving out a career first as a cartoonist before making his mark as an animator differentiates him from both his fellow Pythons and, indeed, most other people. His directing career is less interesting - largely because we've heard much of it before - but it obviously needs to be covered for the sake of completion. However, Gilliam appears to recognise it (or has heard himself telling the stories too often) and thus this part of the book is somewhat slimmer. Gilliam's writing is witty and conversational, with a bit of name-dropping and a very English dose of self-deprecation. The part-scribbled, part-typed captions to the images are a bit awkward and take you away from the body of the text a little more than they should, but this isn't a book to absorb in depth, more one to simply enjoy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    As you would expect from Terry "Patsy" Gilliam, this is a memoir/autobiography that eschews the convention. He knows exactly what to tell, how to tell it, and does not get bogged down with the details of most personal reflections that bore the reader. Gilliam explains just enough of his childhood to set the stage for how those events of youth shaped his comedy, art and directing as an adult. But he doesn't give away too much. I was fascinated by the number of big names he knows, people that he k As you would expect from Terry "Patsy" Gilliam, this is a memoir/autobiography that eschews the convention. He knows exactly what to tell, how to tell it, and does not get bogged down with the details of most personal reflections that bore the reader. Gilliam explains just enough of his childhood to set the stage for how those events of youth shaped his comedy, art and directing as an adult. But he doesn't give away too much. I was fascinated by the number of big names he knows, people that he knew before they were big names in many cases. Some we established by the time he became friends with them, such as George Harrison. Others were small time like him, and they all grew together. He does not drop these names just to exhibit his own importance, but rather as a means to a story. If you only know Terry Gilliam as the man who followed Graham Chapman around while clapping a pair of coconuts together for The Holy Grail, you do not understand the genius of the man behind the artistry. This may sound cliche, but too bad. This is a talented man in multiple aspects of art.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    This is very much like a typical Terry Gilliam film. It looks lovely and seems the best fist at a personal idea, but isn't actually as well constructed as could be expected. It uses the exact same gag about Palin's diaries twice, skips over a lot of what has allegedly been over-told, which of course is what everybody was really there for, and calls back twice to something he thought was important in his oeuvre – so important he hardly mentioned it in passing the first time, and never got to desc This is very much like a typical Terry Gilliam film. It looks lovely and seems the best fist at a personal idea, but isn't actually as well constructed as could be expected. It uses the exact same gag about Palin's diaries twice, skips over a lot of what has allegedly been over-told, which of course is what everybody was really there for, and calls back twice to something he thought was important in his oeuvre – so important he hardly mentioned it in passing the first time, and never got to describe it. This is certainly no flooded set, mind, but a book that could have done with a firmer grip at the tiller. Programmes, other works – and even whole films – get a mention as slight as an IMDB front page, and there were several clear missed opportunities on those key Python elements. Three and a half stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jon B.

    Pros: The way it was put together was simply beautiful. The early on focus on the graphic/artistic nature of his career. The focus on the way his career and his approach to filmmaking have changed for good or for ill. Cons: Not enough information regarding the process of directing. Too many names-dropped. Petty disagreements with critics. Very little emphasis on the time with Monty Python (I know he said it'd be that way...doesn't mean I didn't want Python anyway). Too much grousing about America Pros: The way it was put together was simply beautiful. The early on focus on the graphic/artistic nature of his career. The focus on the way his career and his approach to filmmaking have changed for good or for ill. Cons: Not enough information regarding the process of directing. Too many names-dropped. Petty disagreements with critics. Very little emphasis on the time with Monty Python (I know he said it'd be that way...doesn't mean I didn't want Python anyway). Too much grousing about American politics. I'm glad I read the book. Mr. Gilliam is an amazingly creative fellow who has directed many fun and beautiful films. I understand the shooting is finally finished for Don Quixote and I'll be looking forward to seeing it sometime in the future.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Another Python memoir! How many can there be...? Oh and along comes (the increasingly accurately named, as Mr Gilliam puts it) Eric Idle's one too! Festooned in Python autobiogs! Fortunately so far they are high quality, with Mr Cleese's still taking the top spot, of which more later. Mr Gilliam's is a lavishly produced big format graphical affair as one might expect, with lots of old pictures, cheeky cartoons, and big fonts throughout. It is a good fun read, but any detail has been sacrificed a Another Python memoir! How many can there be...? Oh and along comes (the increasingly accurately named, as Mr Gilliam puts it) Eric Idle's one too! Festooned in Python autobiogs! Fortunately so far they are high quality, with Mr Cleese's still taking the top spot, of which more later. Mr Gilliam's is a lavishly produced big format graphical affair as one might expect, with lots of old pictures, cheeky cartoons, and big fonts throughout. It is a good fun read, but any detail has been sacrificed at the altar of big pretty layout, and for that I dock a point, sir! No other Python need to go as far as the vast empires of paper that are Mr Palin's diaries (which are wonderful nevertheless) but we want a good back story to things and lots of gossip. Mr Cleese's detail level was perfect.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    First off, this is certainly a beautifully designed book, which should come as no surprise. It should also come as no surprise that Gilliam favors run-on sentences and lengthy parenthetical digressions. This can make the book a bit wearying, especially in its second, more cantankerous half. It's a lot more interesting to focus on Gilliam's less-often discussed pre-Python life and work. Even Terry G. himself admits that the Python years and the making (or unmaking) of many of his films have been First off, this is certainly a beautifully designed book, which should come as no surprise. It should also come as no surprise that Gilliam favors run-on sentences and lengthy parenthetical digressions. This can make the book a bit wearying, especially in its second, more cantankerous half. It's a lot more interesting to focus on Gilliam's less-often discussed pre-Python life and work. Even Terry G. himself admits that the Python years and the making (or unmaking) of many of his films have been chronicled to death elsewhere. Still, this is an engaging and occasionally exhausting ramble through the one-of-a-kind mind of Terry Gilliam.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ramon

    There are some really interesting anecdotes here, and while Gilliam does have a flair with language, there is also a sort of hanging spectre over the proceedings in how narrow, I feel, his worldview is. There's a certain white straight male privilege seeping through sometimes that's off-putting; he loves reveling in his rebelliousness and contrariness and fine, that's his thing. Also I guess like maybe a lot of people I came to this book as a fan of his films so it's a bit throwing that it takes There are some really interesting anecdotes here, and while Gilliam does have a flair with language, there is also a sort of hanging spectre over the proceedings in how narrow, I feel, his worldview is. There's a certain white straight male privilege seeping through sometimes that's off-putting; he loves reveling in his rebelliousness and contrariness and fine, that's his thing. Also I guess like maybe a lot of people I came to this book as a fan of his films so it's a bit throwing that it takes so long to even get to just Monty Python, but then the rest of the movies feel a bit rushed.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dominique Hall

    I picked this book up on a whim from the library and did not regret my decision for an instant. Gilliam is sharp, funny, and offered mind-blowing insight into the perspective of a performance artist. In particular, I was struck by his description of the vulnerability and openness required to skillfully act. It pains me a little to say this, but I found Gilliamesque a much more interesting read than Cleese's recent memoir.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I don't know. Terry Gilliam is my least favorite Python. Which is not to say I dislike him. not at all. Just don't like him as much as the others. This book may a explanation of why. I just found it a bit to pompous and overbearing. Terry Gilliam is clearly right about all that he clearly knows for certain, you know. I guess he's just the most American out of the group. :-)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsi Mckay

    Between the animation and the pictures, and all the little tidbits he wrote in the margins this book had to have been a goal in his life to do. It was well written, all the little tidbits were gold, it was such a shame he didn't bring up the poncho (a bit anyway there was maybe one line of it) that turned Eric Idle on to him but my god his story was so good! 5 stars!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gary Fowles

    While Gilliam’s memoir is packed with detail about his early years, his latter years are swiftly written off within a few pages. The Zero Theorem is reduced to a paragraph. Well worth reading all the same, Gilliam’s voice jumps off the page and the selection of his animated work/personal photos are worth picking this up for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aerandir

    Ultimately I wished the book had been thicker. Only a couple pages at a time were devoted to Gilliam's filmmaking efforts. And yet there's a lot of insight into a fascinating life and the drawings and illustrations abounded on pretty much every page.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scott Waldyn

    I love the art and design of this book. It's so fun and pleasing to the eye. The text, however, is pretty dull. There are a few jokes peppered here and there that land, but the autobiography itself is just... yawn-inducing. And I'm a huge fan of Gilliam, so I was in for the long haul. Ah well.

  26. 4 out of 5

    James Slaven

    A wonderful book that does not pull many punches. A great read for any python fan. If you’re expecting a lot of Monty Python, though, that is a very small part of the book. The rest is still totally worth it, both the before and after Python parts.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim Irmis

    It's a mix of a memoir and a coffee table book showcasing his artwork. He's an interesting man who led an interesting life, but the book tends to jump around a lot. He can't seem to look at his own work objectively, but that is a quality most artists seem to have.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Doug Rawden

    Great insight into an amazing directors mind. Perhaps could have had more detail about the various films and issues but understand the need to keep the pace up. Complete with lots of personal sketches and artwork. A Gilliam fans must read

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    1 point for a member of Monty Python. 1 point for being an American 1 point for simple cartooning- inspired me to start on my own again 1 point for freedom and creativity of making movies

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Lynch

    Fun and full of self-deprecating humor. Many illustrations and stories from Python and his later films

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.