Today, Terry Gilliam is known for many things, above all being a member of the infamous 'Monty Python' comedy troupe.
Before you read any further, relive his involvement in the colossal masterpiece of the absurd that was Monty Python & The Holy Grail:
At the beginning of his collaboration with the team, Gilliam was initially credited as an animator before becoming a fully fledged member. His cartoons provided the stepping stones between many of the Monty Python's Flying Circus shows, greatly defining the visual language accompanying the bizarre scenarios.
With an frivolous eye for the absurd, he embraced is talent, claiming:
“I see the grotesque, my eye goes for the odd thing in a scene, then emphasizes it.”
Yet directing was what he always wanted to do and back in 1968, he made his first foray into directing with a short film called Storyline.
To be honest, the animation has left me in a similar gobsmacked state as when I first came head-to-head with the Monty Python twisted take on life. It is comprised of three segments, "Don The Cockroach, "The Albert Einstein Story" and "A Christmas Card," all very peculiar but fascinating in their own special way.
Without any further hesitation, I'll just leave you guys to embark on the crazy stream-of-consciousness journey that this wicked little animation takes you on:
What did you think? Stylistically, it really anticipates the distinctive animations which Gilliam produced for Monty Python's Flying Circus. I also absolutely love the bewildering comedy of having one of the world's most disgusting species as the main character!
Today Gilliam is in his seventies and since his Monty Python days, he can count a myriad of fabulous movies to his name, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King and the dream-like universe of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Most recently however, Gilliam's twelfth directing project was the fantasy The Zero Theorem, a movie following a computer hacker who aims to discover the reason for human existence. Starring Christoph Waltz, here is the trailer for the sci-fi feature:
Undoubtedly, Gilliam has come a very long way from his first debut with Storyline. I hope you enjoyed the first example of his work that then went on to define the rest of his fantastic career.