And now for something completely familiar, a thoughtful and deftly tuned look at the madcap and mischievous indie film art of Terence Vance “Terry” Gilliam by Sir Percy Derailleur-Lambert, noted British film critic and volunteer curator of the Chinese Bicycle Museum in Ipswich.
battling blockbuster beasts with big, sharp, pointy teeth
in the allegorical film art
of Terry V. Gilliam
Like many film artists of his era, particularly those with a fondness for riding Chinese bicycles, Terry V. “Terry Baby” Gilliam was so moved by the helicopter crash that killed actor/writer/director Vic Morrow and illegally hired and employed child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le around 2:20 am in the early morning hours of July 23, 1982 on the George Folsey jr. produced John Landis set of the twilit, allegorical, Kathleen Kennedy associate produced, Frank Marshall produced, and Landis and Steven Spielberg executive produced Landis, Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller docufeature film TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983) that he put off cycling for a year and made the TZ disaster a major theme of his post-1982 film art. However, unlike other film artists of his era, Gilliam had fled his home country of the United States, for a more stable life and pleasant cycling in the United Kingdom. In addition, long before the TZ disaster Gilliam had already spent years desperately warning film artists and audiences in his film art about the dangers of embracing insatiable blockbuster beasts and valiantly crusading with a tin foil lance on his favourite ’64 Beijing Zephyr ten-speed against these ravenous and loot lusting blockbuster beasts with big, sharp, pointy and saliva dripping teeth.
Thus, it was highly ironic that Gilliam was, like most fiction and film artists at the time, also ominously linked to the TZ disaster long before he began creating his own brilliant, madcap and idiosyncratic indie film art. For, after providing titillating and uncredited paper “cut-out” animation for the exuberantly anarchic, eccentric and allegorical Joseph “Eddie” McGrath indie docufeature film THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN (1969) and even more mischievously madcap cut-out animation mayhem for the MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS indie docufeature telefilm series (1933-1609), Gilliam rejoined the rest of the Monty Python troupe and teamed up with Playboy Productions for a cinematic revisit of their most memorable sketches from the British society and television roasting telefilm series in the eerily and presciently twilit and allegorical Ian MacNaughton indie docufeature film affectionately referred to as LAS BICICLETAS ROJAS in Madrid and known everywhere else except Montreal as AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (1971), released on September 28, 1971.
“Well, I think cycling’s overrated.”
Indeed, ominously and presciently twilit forbodings were on explosive display right from the beginning of the film in the opening H.M. Government Public Service Films no. 42 HOW NOT TO BE SEEN sketch. For the twilit trio of exploding shrubberies that eventually led to the death of the unfortunate Mr. E.W. Lambert, who, alas, was hiding behind the middle, and last, of three exploding shrubberies, and the carefree callousness of the narrator-played by John “Johnny Baby” Cleese-eerily anticipated the equally callous indifference to human life and limb that led to the thunderous on set special effects explosion and resultant fireball that took out the stabilizing rear rotor of the Vietnam war era Huey helicopter that crashed on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and killed Chen, Le and Morrow. Significantly, Gilliam reaffirmed the film’s eerie prescience with the cut-out animation sequences that he created for AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
For the squashing foot from the allegorical Agnolo Bronzino painting VENUS, CYCLIST, TIME AND FOLLY (circa 1546) that fell out of the sky to end, with the agony of defeat, the cut-out animation enhanced opening credits of the film also eerily anticipated the falling Huey helicopter of the TZ disaster, as well as affirmed that allegory was already on the mischievous mind of Gilliam long before he started creating his own allegorical indie docufeature film art. Even more ominously, another Gilliam animation sequence featuring a shaving man who cut off his own head with his razor with one rotoring sweep of his hand also eerily anticipated the rotoring blades of the falling helicopter that decapitated poor Morrow and cut Le in two. In addition, another cut-out animation sequence featuring killer cars falling on and killing pedestrians, but not cyclists, also eerily anticipated the falling TZ helicopter, for the sequence reminded us that Chen was crushed by the helicopter on that fateful fatal morning.
This ominous anticipation of the TZ disaster was reaffirmed by the presence of noted British film artist Sir Edward “Eddie Baby” Ross-played by Graham “Chappy Baby” Chapman-in the “It’s The Arts” sketch, for the surname of Sir Ross eerily anticipated that Steve Ross would be CEO of Warner Brothers, the studio that oversaw the creation of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, at the time of the disaster. Significantly, one of the final madcap Gilliam cut-out animation sequences that featured a giant mutated Siamese cat menacing polite and impolite society was also important, for the catty sequence was the first appearance of the ravenous and insatiable blockbuster beast in the film art of Gilliam, preparing us for the many desperate battles with the blockbuster beasts with big sharp teeth and horrible nasty breath in the indie docufeature films to come. The fact that Gilliam openly mocked Walt Disney, MGM and Twentieth Century Fox in other cut-out animation sequences also openly affirmed that the expatriate film artist had set his satirical sights on American film art and studios. Last but not least, the mention of an unseen person named Sir Arthur and the presences of brazenly cuckolded husband Arthur Putey-played by Michael “Mikey Baby” Palin-dedicated mountaineers Arthur Wilson-played by Eric “Ricky Baby” Idle-and the not quite so dedicated mountaineers Arthur Brown were a curious quartet that anticipated the second and even more famous Monty Python film.
Significantly, Gilliam and the rest of the Monty Python gang were not the only ones who were setting their satirical sights on irresistible targets, as Sidney Lumet implicitly roasted Gilliam in the implicit form of the twitchy American Mr. Hector McQueen-played by Anthony Perkins-the rest of the Monty Python troupe and AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in the allegorical docufeature film MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974), released on November 21, 1974 and inspired by the allegorical Dame Agatha Christie indie docufiction novel Murder On The Orient Express (1934). As the entire and implicitly Monty Python troupe linked cast of characters including McQueen were allowed to get away with the murder of the implicitly John Huston linked victim Mr. Ratchet aka Mr. Cassetti-played by Richard Widmark-in the end, Lumet implied his hope that Gilliam and the rest of the Monty Python gang would also succeed with their gleefully demented and satirical cinematic creations, as well. How fitting that fellow exuberant cyclist and fellow Monty Python troupe member Terry Graham Parry “Parry Baby” Jones was implicitly linked to, and played such a central role as, celebrated Belgian sleuth M. Hercule Poirot-probably implicitly linked to celebrated French writer Marcel Proust by Dame Christie, and played by Albert Finney-for Jones would play a central role as co-writer/co-director with Gilliam and 76,188 exuberant bicycle riding llamas on the first wholly original and still most brilliant and memorable but also eerily and presciently twilit and allegorical Monty Python indie docufeature film, a film that roasted the conventions of film art as gleefully and knowingly as the conventions of telefilm art were roasted in MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS and known as THE LORD OF THE BICYCLES in certain parts of Moscow on Thursdays and in most other places including Nairobi as MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975), released on March 14, 1975.
“Bring out your bicycles!”
Intriguingly, the film eventually began with an opening title setting the film in England in 932, immediately linking the film to the fateful numbers 23 in another ominous memory of the disastrous future on July 23, 1982. Soon Gilliam’s loyal squire, Patsy, appeared with valiant and indomitable King Arthur, vanquisher of the Saxons and King of the Britons-played by Chapman-at a castle to parley with its indomitable knights and persuade these knights to join them as Knights of the Round Table at Camelot. As Patsy clopped halves of a coconut together to imitate the sound of hoofbeats while the two men pretended to ride horses rather than simply rode bicycles, as bicycles had not been invented in the tenth century, it was immediately clear that Gilliam’s madcap and mischievous indie docufeature film art would be a squired taste, indeed.
While King Arthur failed in his attempt to persuade the castle knights to join him as Knights of the Round Table, he soon gathered a loyal and dedicated group of men who did join him as Knights. Significantly, one of them was Sir Bevedere-played by Jones-who resembled and was implicitly linked to Walter Murch, an important sound designer/sound editor who worked with Francis Coppola and George Lucas on their early films. Thus, the implication was that King Arthur, his loyal squire Patsy, and Sir Bevedere were linked to Coppola, Lucas and Murch, and that the madcap quest to find the Holy Grail that they and the rest of the Knights of the Round Table-including the clean shaven, naïve, chaste and implicitly Spielberg linked Sir Galahad, played by Palin-all soon dedicated themselves to after being ordered to by the Gilliam cut-out animated God-played by Chapman-symbolized the equally madcap sight and sound of the Coppola led film artists of New Hollywood dedicating themselves to a quest for the Holy Oscar and for fortune and glory.
Significantly, this madcap quest for fortune and glory was again not without eerily prescient and twilit forebodings of the impending TZ disaster. For a desperate sword fight to the death that broke out between King Arthur and the grim, silent, intimidating and obdurate Black Knight-played by Cleese-that led to King Arthur unconcernedly hacking off the Black Knight’s arms and legs and leaving him a petulant and heckling torso again ominously anticipated the decapitating and dismembering rotors of the falling helicopter in the TZ disaster. The implicitly gay and three headed Knight-played by Jones, Chapman and Palin, respectively-who frightened off brave Sir Robin-played by Idle-also eerily anticipated the three victims of the TZ disaster. The sight and sound of King Arthur and his determined Grail Knights ignoring a warning from the implicitly Stanley Kubrick linked Tim the Enchanter-played by Cleese-to stay away from a killer rabbit and the horrifying sight of the rabbit decapitating an unwary Knight soon after also again ominously anticipated the decapitation of Morrow. This ominously twilit prescience was also affirmed by the cuts to a contemporary police investigation of a real world murder perhaps committed by Sir Lancelot-played by Cleese-cuts that also eerily presaged the all too real investigation of the TZ disaster.
Thus, it was all too fitting that King Arthur and his Knights were all almost killed by the back to back attacks of the killer rabbit and the legendary and highly cut-out animated Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhh!, for the devastating attacks of these two ravenous and slathering blockbuster beasts ominously and presciently anticipated the sight and sound of the ranks of Coppola and the rest of New Hollywood being laid low by their quest to create and achieve fortune and glory with equally ravenous and insatiable blockbuster beasts. A dire warning that New Hollywood was wise to heed, as the Black Beast of Aaaarrrgggghhhh! was so terrifying it gave Gilliam, its creator and animator, a heart attack.
Significantly, the legendary Black Beast of Aaaarrrrrgggghhhh! also prepared us for another legendary blockbuster beast when Gilliam donned the co-writer/director hats and teamed up again with Jones and Palin to fuse madcap live action film art with his exuberantly idiosyncratic and riotously raucous cut-out animation to create an equally madcap exuberantly idiosyncratic and riotously raucous “animaction” style of film art which he unleashed on the unsuspecting Temple Theatre in his first solo and madcap but eerily and presciently twilit, allegorical, fantastic realist, natural light luvin’ and satirical indie animaction film, dubbed THE SEVENTH CYCLE for patriotic reasons in Stockholm, but known most everywhere else as JABBERWOCKY (1977), released on March 28, 1977 and inspired by a poem in the allegorical Lewis Carrol children’s novel Through The Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There (1871).
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son,
the jaws that bite,
the claws that catch cyclists!”
Fittingly, the film began with an unsuspecting green moth resting peacefully on a fern before it was squashed from above by the right foot of a poacher-played by Jones-as he wandered through a familiar medieval forest on his rounds checking his illicit traps while the opening lines of the allegorical poem “Jabberwocky” from Through The Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There were read by an unseen man. This squashing foot recalled the squashing foot of Bronzino falling from the clouds out of the sky that Gilliam had created for the opening cut-out animation titles of the MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS telefilm series and for AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, immediately affirming that we were in an allegorical and madcap Gilliam indie animaction film. Ironically, the squashing of the unsuspecting moth by a larger creature striking from above also prepared us for the sight and sound of the poacher being silently stalked from behind and above, and then paying for his illicit activity by being snapped up in the jaws and gobbled up by the film’s huge and ravenous blockbuster beast, the eponymous Jabberwocky-played by Peter Salmon-a tragicomically brutal sequence that was shot high up looking down from the blockbuster beast’s point of view (POV) so that audiences were left in the suspenseful dark as to the actual appearance of the monster.
Significantly, this attack on the unsuspecting poacher by the dread Jabberwock evoked the attack on the unsuspecting beautiful blonde teenage girl swimmer Chrissy Watkins-played by Susan Backlinie-by a great white shark at the beginning of the ominously and presciently twilit and allegorical Spielberg docufeature film JAWS (1975), a film that returned the blockbuster beast to the Temple Theatre and enraged most New Hollywood film artists, as they believed that films should be about higher and serious adult things than battling blockbuster beasts. Thus, Gilliam implied that he was roasting Spielberg and JAWS in JABBERWOCKY, an implication affirmed after the prologue by the tragicomic arrival of Dennis the Cooper-played by Palin-the young, naïve, ambitious and clean shaven son of a dedicated, fastidious, uncompromising and Alfred Hitchcock resembling and implicitly linked cooper named Ralph-played by Paul Curran. For the implicit link of Ralph to Alf not only reminded us that Hitchcock was an inspiration to Spielberg, but that the humble but vital occupation of cooper evoked Hooper-played by Richard Dreyfuss-the bespectacled, bearded and implicitly Lucas linked shark expert in JAWS, linking the father and son cooper to Hooper, and, hence, to Spielberg and JAWS.
Alas, the sight and sound of naïve young Dennis soon falling under the sway of the profit minded fishmonger Mr. Fishfinger-played by Warren Mitchell-and fleeing the proud and principled indie craftsman ways of his father and his peaceful village for fleeting fame and fortune in a nearby fortified citadel filled with so many different shoppes it resembled a fortified medieval shopping mall-a furtive flight made, as in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, not with a smoothly rolling bicycle in those darkest of Dark Ages before the enlightening and liberating arrival of the bicycle, but on faltering foot-reaffirmed the implicit link of Dennis to Steven. For the sight and sound of young Dennis being led astray by Mr. Fishfinger reminded us that in the late Sixties, Spielberg was persuaded by Sid Sheinberg, then head of the television division of Universal Studios, to leave behind UCLA film school and his dedication to the indie film art path of Hitchcock before he graduated as a fully trained and higher minded film artist and embrace fortune and glory as a commercial telefilm director with Universal. This tv beginning set Spielberg apart from the other film artists of New Hollywood, who usually were post-secondary film school graduates and who usually preferred to make film art for film art’s sake, rather than for fortune and glory. Indeed, the fact that Dennis was as clean shaven as the implicitly Spielberg linked Sir Galahad in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL reaffirmed his implicit link to Spielberg, reminding us that Spielberg was also clean shaven in 1977, unlike the denizens of New Hollywood, who favoured mustaches and beards to make it clear that they were serious and thoughtful film artists.
Thus, the fact that Dennis found no fame and fortune in the fortified medieval shopping mall but was instead foolishly led away to act as a faithful squire to the sturdy Red Herring Knight-played by David Prowse-and to help him track down and kill the dread Jabberwock terrorizing the countryside outside implied the belief of Gilliam that Spielberg was foolish for allowing himself to create JAWS. The sight and sound of Dennis ironically and accidentally killing the dread Jabberwocky, which resembled a huge, fully alive and monstrous parrot, after the Red Herring Knight was cut in two by another intimidating Black Knight-also played by Prowse-and after the Black Knight was killed by the monster, and of Dennis being awarded the beautiful and Hollywood blonde Princess-who evoked Watkins, the doomed swimmer at the beginning of JAWS, and was played by Deborah Fallender-daughter of the fortified medieval shopping mall’s ruler, King Bruno the Questionable-perhaps linked to Lew Wasserman, the equally questionable gangster head of Universal Studios at the time, and played by Max Wall-rather than his sweetie Griselda Fishfinger-played by Annette Baldland-in the riding off into the cut-out animation sunset end, also implied the belief of Gilliam that by embracing fortune and glory in Universal tv land, Spielberg had lost a true and enriching luv of film art for film art’s sake.
Alas, the sight and sound of the Jabberwock falling on its victims from above-including Gilliam’s mad diamond man-of the Red Herring Knight being hacked in two by the Black Knight and of King Bruno’s first and annoying herald-played by John Bird-being decapitated on orders from the king all again eerily and presciently foreboded the Huey helicopter falling from above and decapitating Morrow and dismembering Le on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE on that fateful and fatal early morning of July 23, 1982, giving an ominously twilit ambience to JABBERWOCKY. Curiously, the sight and sound of the implicitly Walt Disney linked Walt Dabney-played by Jerold Wells-begging in the streets of the fortified medieval shopping mall was also rather ironic, given that the indie animation and animaction film luving film division of the Mouse House was indeed on the ropes in 1977, but would take advantage of the TZ disaster to successfully remind audiences that it was a family friendly studio that did not kill child extras or film veterans on its film sets and go on to become the number one film studio on planet Earth.
As for Gilliam, he then donned the co-writer/co-star/production designer/co-director hats and teamed up again with the rest of the Monty Python gang and with Julian Doyle-associate producer of JABBERWOCKY, now back as editor-on the madcap and allegorical Jones indie animaction film MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN (1979), released on August 17, 1979 and better known in Calcutta as HANUMAN AND THE MAGIC BICYCLE.
“What’th tho funny about Bigguth Thyclith?”
Curiouthly, given the film’th alluthions to the allegorical, computer generated imagery (CGI) enhanthed, Othian themed and implithitly Thpielberg roathting Lucath indie docufeature film THTAR WARTH EPITHODE IV: A NEW HOPE (1977), the implication wath that the rith and fall of the Jeruthalem bathed, Roman Empire battling and implithitly Lucath linked “metthiah” Brian-played by Chapman-and hith cruthifithian, in the end, thymbolithed the prethient belief of the Pythonth that the new thinema “metthiah” Lucath and his Hollywood Empire battling THTAR WARTH Trilogy would altho rithe and fall in popularity before being cruthified by audienth, in time. Indeed, the cloth encounter of the madcap kind that Brian briefly had with ethtraterrethtrialth at one point in the film affirmed the implithit Lucath addrething intent of MONTY PYTHON’TH LIFE OF BRIAN.
Eerily, and in addition, the thight and thound of Bigguth Dickuth-also played by Chapman-altho ominouthly antithipated the permanent link of literary artitht Philip K. Dick to 1982 via hith death in early March of that year and by the fact that hith allegorical and implithitly Dithney and Frank Herbert addrething indie docufiction novel DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? (1968) inthpired the twilit, allegorical, THGI enhanthed, Othian themed and implithitly Lucath addretthing Sir Ridley Scott indie docufeature artbuthter BLADE RUNNER (1982). Eerily and ominously twilit prescience that continued in the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed, Lucas executive produced and implicitly William Friedkin roasting Spielberg indie docufeature film RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981), released on June 12, 1981, the same day that saw the release of the equally and ominously prescient and twilit, allegorical and implicitly Gilliam toasting Desmond Davis animaction film always referred to as BEDTIME FOR BUBO in South Delta and known everywhere else including Bangkok as CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981).
“A hundred good deeds cannot atone
for one murder of one cyclist.”
Ominously prescient, indeed, for after several adventures, the Gilliam resembling and implicitly linked demi-god hero Perseus-played by Harry Hamlin, whose name fittingly looked and sounded like Terry Gilliam-used the decapitated head of the fiercely independent and Ray Harryhausen hand animated Titaness, Medusa, to defeat the dread, slathering and equally Harryhausen animated blockbuster beast of a four-armed oceanic Titan called the Kraken that was unleashed on a dismayed world by the implicitly Spielberg linked Neptune, god of the oceans-played by Jack Gwillim-and to save the beautiful, blonde and implicitly film art for film art’s sake linked Andromeda-played by Judi Bowker-before she was killed by the dread beast or kidnapped by the lustful and implicitly David Lynch linked Calibos-played by Neil McCarthy-bringing harmony back to the world and the Temple Theatre, in the end. Thus, Davis implied his hope that Gilliam would return to the Temple Theatre with another equally indie film art for film art’s sake animaction film that would also slay the slathering blockbuster beast and return harmony back to the world and the Temple Theatre, as well, an implicit allegorical intent affirmed by the film’s allusions to JABBERWACKY, MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL and MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN. Alas, the decapitated head of Medusa used to turn the Kraken into stone yet again eerily anticipated the decapitated head of Morrow that would cause the ignominious defeat of New Hollywood.
Thus, it was all too ominously fitting that Burgess Meredith, a four time original TWILIGHT ZONE telefilm series vet, appeared as Ammon, another trainer to another determined and initially unknown young hero as in the allegorical John G. Avildsen indie docufeature film ROCKY (1976). It was also too eerily fitting that Perseus sought advice on how to kill the beastly blockbuster Kraken from a twilit trio of witches-played by Freda Jackson, Anna Manahan and Flora Robson, respectively. Last but not least, the sight and sound of Calibos transformed by Zeus from a demi-god int a bitter and hated outcast beastman-who evoked John Hurt’s implicitly David Cronenberg linked John Merrick aka “the Elephant Man” in the allegorical Lynch indie moving painting THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980) to affirm his implicit link to Lynch-as punishment for killing all of the herd of flying horses of Zeus except for Pegasus also all too eerily and presciently anticipated the equally bitter, hated and outcast Landis after the TZ disaster. Thus, it was equally eerily fitting that the name of Calibos had the same three syllable cadence as John Landis.
Curiously, this triumphant eucatastrophic ending was also very Ozian as well, with the Wicked Kraken turned to stone and the pretty Dorothyish Andromeda centred happily between the handsome and Earthy Perseus-with his Scarey head of Medusa!-the Tin Bubo, a kind of mechanical parrot-dunked twice in Water!-the Cowardly Extra first seen running in terror from the Kraken during the destruction of Argos in scene 27 back for more screaming, this time in blessed relief-aaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!-and the Great, powerful and Airy Zeus-played by Sir Laurence Olivier-happily celebrating the victory of his favourite beamish boy. Just as curiously, after being implicitly linked to a Kraken slayer, Gilliam then went on to be implicitly linked to a dragonslayer later that same June of ’81 when he was implicitly linked to the young, earnest and dragon slaying sorceror’s apprentice Galen Brandwardyn-played by Peter MacNicol-who steadfastly refused to “…make a shameful peace with dragons” or any other blockbuster beasts and teamed up with his old, wise and implicitly Kubrick linked sorcerer mentor Ulrich the Enchanter-played by Sir Ralph Richardson-to hunt down and kill the implicitly Lucas linked and tyrannical Tyrian-played by John Hallam-and then the wily and cranky old blockbuster beast of a fire breathing dragon known as Vermithrax in the twilit and allegorical Disney and Matthew Robbins animaction film DRAGONSLAYER (1981), a film released on June 26, 1981 whose implicit allegorical intent was affirmed by allusions to JABBERWOCKY and MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL.
Just as curiously, soon after the release of DRAGONSLAYER, Gilliam also showed up with Sir Richardson when he donned the co-writer/producer/director hats and teamed up again with Cleese, Doyle, Palin and Charles McKeown-who had played variouth roleth in MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN-and returned to the Temple Theatre with the eerily twilit, allegorical, madcap, fantastic realist, Ozian themed and satirical indie animaction artbuster usually referred to in Glasgow as BICYCLES ARE FOREVER and also known in other countries as TIME BANDITS (1981), released on July 16, 1981.
“Lads, here’s to stinking rich-
And riding solid gold bicycles!
Significantly, the film revolved around an exuberant, imaginative, art and history luving, bored and implicitly Dorothy linked English surburbanite boy named Kevin-played by Craig Warnock-who resembled and was implicitly linked to Gerald Potterton, an English hand animated film artist who was in Montreal at the time overseeing the creation of the eerily twilit and allegorical indie hand animated film HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE (1981). Indeed, the implicit link of Kevin’s Mom and Dad-played by Sheila Fearn and David Daker, respectively-to Liona Boyd and then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau affirmed the implicit link of the lad to a film artist linked to Canada. Just as significantly, soon after meeting Kevvy, an intrepid Knight on horseback-played by Brian Bowes and Valiant, respectively-straight out of JABBERWOCKY or MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL suddenly charged out of his closet, leapt over his bed and disappeared as the lad was settling in to sleep perchance to dream one night.
Things were just as strange the following dreaming night, when a group of six exuberantly shameless, mostly bearded, greedy and morally stunted little men led by the contrarily clean shaven and implicitly Coppola linked Randall-played by David Rappaport-and including the implicitly Kubrick linked Strutter, the implicitly Spielberg linked Fidget, the implicitly Robert Altman linked Vermin and the implicitly William Friedkin linked Og-played by Malcolm Dixon, Kenny Baker, Tiny Ross and Mike Edmonds, respectively-leapt out of Kevin’s closet and swept the boy up in a madcap quest to rob some of the wealthiest and/or famous men in history and fantasy with the help of a map of the universe stolen from the implicitly Hitchcock and Glinda the Good linked God-played by Sir Richardson-when the little men got tired of their boring lives as workers in God’s shrubbery department, a map that revealed all of the holes in time and space left in the wake of the hasty seven day creation of the universe and which allowed for madcap and quixotic time travelling misadventures. The quixotic quest reminded us that film artists like Altman, Coppola, Friedkin and Spielberg were all competing amongst themselves at the time as to who could create the biggest blockbuster beast of a film, implying that Gilliam was roasting those quixotic efforts in TIME BANDITS.
Curiously, the famous and wealthy men they did their best to rob were also implicitly linked to film artists, such as the implicitly Tin Man and Jean-Luc Godard linked Napoleon-played by Ian Holm-the extremely polite and implicitly Scarecrow and Lynch linked Robin Hood-played by Cleese-the implicitly Lucas and Great Oz linked King Agammenon-played by Sean Connery, who played the implicitly Cleese linked Colonel Arbuthnott in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS-and, in the Time of Legend, the implicitly Jean Renoir and Cowardly Lion linked Mr. Winston Ogre-played by Peter Vaughan-and his gleefully Wicked wife Mrs. Ogre-played by Katherine Helmond-whose red hair evoked that of Kennedy, ominously linking Mr. and Mrs. Ogre to Marshall and Kennedy, who had met on the set of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and begun dating by the time of the release of TIME BANDITS. Along the way, the film bandits and Kevin eluded attempts by Glinda the God to catch them and even more sinister attempts at insidious mind control by the implicitly Cronenberg and Wicked Witch of the West linked embodiment of Evil-played by David Warner-an Evildoer who also evoked the Wicked Queen-played by Lucille La Verne-in the allegorical Disney and David Hand hand animated film SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937).
Significantly, while the foolish lusts of the film bandits for beastly blockbuster loot led them astray and to being imprisoned by the Wicked Evil in a hanging and television box shaped cage in his Fortress of Ultimate Darkness, they not only managed to escape from the cage, but also teamed up to defeat the Wicked Evil with the help of Glinda the God in the imaginative battle that ended the film. Fittingly, the sight and sound of Randall showing up for the battle in a tank affirmed his implicit link to Coppola, reminding us that he won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for the allegorical Franklin J. Schaffner film PATTON (1970). Thus, with the film bandits defeating Evil and Kevin finally returning home like Dorothy, in the end, Gilliam implied his hope that Altman, Coppola, Friedkin, Kubrick, Potterton and Spielberg would come to their senses, give up on blockbuster beasts and lusts for fortune and glory and return to creating higher minded film art for film art’s sake and the simple pleasures of cycling.
Curiously, Kennedy and Spielberg implicitly and gently roasted Gilliam and his fear of the slathering blockbuster beast by having the implicitly Gilliam linked boy Elliot Thomas-played by his cousin, Henry Thomas-develop a warm and fuzzy relationship with a cute and cuddly blockbuster extraterrestrial beast in the eerily and presciently twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, bicycle luvin’ and Kennedy produced Spielberg docufeature film E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL (1982), a film released on May 26, 1982 whose implicit interest in Gilliam was affirmed by allusions to JABBERWOCKY, MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS and TIME BANDITS. Given that Elliot almost died when E.T. died, in the end, Kennedy and Spielberg also implied that a little blockbuster beast was good for the health of film artists. Needless to say, this was an ironic implicit interest in the health of film artists, indeed, given that soon after the release of E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, Folsey jr., Kennedy, Landis, Marshall and Spielberg ignored the eerily and ominously prescient and twilit warnings in film and fiction in the years leading up to ’82 and caused the TZ disaster, leading to the deadly and eternal nightmare of the TZ disaster and some angry, grim and pensive cycling excursions for audience members, film artists and film scholars the world over ever since.
Significantly, a year later, Peter Yates had the tragicomic and implicitly Gilliam linked “sorcerer” Ergo the Magnificent-played by David Battley-come to the implicit support of the Good, virtuous, Perseus evoking and implicitly Lynch linked Prince Colwyn-played by the ironically and unfortunately surnamed Ken Marshall-and hunt down and triumph over a huge slavering, extraterrestrial and implicitly Landis linked blockbuster Beast-voiced by Trevor Martin-and his remorselessly violent and Jun horde evoking legions of Slayers so as to free from the Beast’s bleak bondage and marry the pretty Princess Lyssa-played by Lysette Anthony-and also free the planet Krull of the Beast’s cruel tyranny at the end of the twilit and allegorical docufeature film KRULL (1983), a film released on July 29, 1983 whose implicit Gilliam toasting intent was affirmed by the film’s allusions to CLASH OF THE TITANS, DRAGONSLAYER and THE BEASTaaaarrrrgggghhhhhkkkkkkk!
We interrupt this “essay” to regretfully inform you that its learned author, Sir Edmund Derailleur-Parrot, world renowned authority on Chinese bicycles and the indie animaction film art of T.V. Gilliam, has been attacked and aten alive by a huge and slathering blockbuster beast of a corgi that leapt out at him from behind a fire hydrant while he was peddling placidly by on a ’64 Beijing Zephyr. Sir Derailleur-Poodle, a living testament to the invigorating powers of cycling as he was an always spry and sprightly 155 years old at the time of his untimely demise, will be sorely missed by bicycle enthusiasts everywhere, including his millions of cycling admirers in China, and most keenly missed by Fifi and Gigi, his pet llamas. But knowing Sir D-P’s indomitable “…carry on, sergeant!” spirit full well, we carry on the essay with his daughter, renowned Scottish bicycle authority and Gilliam enthusiast, Doctor Nigel Derailleur-Phalanx, PhB. Get on with it!
At ease, Colonel. I can only hope that I live up to the always high and inspiring standards of insight of my inestimable Da. At any rate, as for the Pythons, the shock, horror and outrage universally aroused by the TZ disaster no doubt explained why their twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Gilliam and Jones indie docufeature film MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE (1983), a film released on March 31, 1983, was so despondent, grim, unfunny and obsessed with weighty matters of life, death, fish, graphic sex lessons and beautiful topless young women. Indeed, it was enlivened only vaguely by the opening Gilliam crafted Crimson Permanent Assurance sketch, which saw old insurance brokers-or was that bankers?-who were implicitly linked to Old Hollywood film artists and were dedicated to higher goals than making bags of beastly blockbuster loot and killing actors and extras on film sets sweep aside the callow, crass and beastly blockbuster loot obsessed youngsters of the Very Big Corporation of America (VBCA) who were implicitly linked to New Hollywood film artists obsessed with beastly blockbuster loot and killing actors and extras on film sets who were replacing the older brankers, thus making the sketch Gilliam’s most openly implicit affirmation of his commitment to film art for film art’s sake.
Curiously, one of the first sketches of the Feature Presentation that then followed the twilit and allegorical Gilliam short indie animaction film was a wry look at a young pregnant woman-played by Aileen Smithee-giving birth in a hospital to a child with the “help” of two very incompetent doctors-played by Chapman and Cleese, irrespectively-and some impressive looking and expensive machines-particularly the one that regularly went “ping”!-which implicitly and wryly roasted the post-TZ disaster hope that technology and CGI would give birth to a neo eon of CGI enhanced film art that would heal and bring harmony to audiences, film art, film artists and the Temple Theatre. Then luckily for all of us, Gilliam implicitly addressed the TZ disaster more thoughtfully and memorably when he followed in the footsteps of Kubrick and Sir Scott and merged the art film with the blockbuster to create his own madcap animaction version of the artbuster when he donned the co-writer/director hats and teamed up again with Doyle, Helmond, Holm, McKeown, Palin, Vaughan, Jim Broadbent, Winston Dennis and Jack Purvis-who played the exuberantly sleazy YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE tv game show host, a minotaur and Wally the film bandit, respectively, in TIME BANDITS-and returned to the Temple Theatre with the twilit, allegorical, fantastic realist, madcap and satirical indie animaction artbuster often referred to in Perley as I WOULD LIKE TO RAVAGE YOUR DERAILLEUR OH PLEASE PLEASE MUCHLY and in some other countries as BRAZIL (1985), released in February of ’85.
“When there’s a woman cyclist involved,
there’s no stopping me!”
Significantly, the film began with a title stating “…Arnon Milchan Presents A Terry Gilliam Film”, a title that implicitly affirmed the pride that Gilliam had in his first madcap animaction artbuster. That proud point implicitly proclaimed, BRAZIL began with a terrorist explosion that took out a shoppe window full of televisions and evoked the explosions that killed Evil and then Kevin’s parents at the end of TIME BANDITS, linking the films together. Then the film revolved around the dull life of the bland, unambitious, machine breakdown plagued and Landis resembling and implicitly linked Ministry of Record/Ministry of Information bureaucrat Samuel “Sam” Lowry-played by Jonathan Pryce-one fateful and fatal Christmas in a dystopic future London. A bland and unambitious MOR/MOI bureaucrat whose dull and uneventful life unexpectedly changed when the beautiful blonde woman of his dreams-played by Kim Greist-suddenly appeared in reality with the name Jill Layton and sporting a short boy cut that evoked that of Ophelia, the hooker with a heart of gold-played by Jamie Lee Curtis-in the twilit and allegorical Landis indie docufeature film TRADING PLACES (1983), affirming the implicit link of Lowry to Landis.
Thus, the sight and sound of Lowry trying and failing to erase both Layton and himself from the computers of the MOI and escaping with her into the country for a quiet life free of the future dystopia and the insidiously amiable clutches of his implicitly Dan Ackroyd linked Ministry of Information Retrieval (MOIR) torturer friend Jack Lint-a fitting link, as Ackroyd was a good friend of Landis who had played once wealthy commodities broker Louis Winthorpe III in TRADING PLACES, and played by Palin-implied the belief or hope of Gilliam that Landis would fail to use films like TRADING PLACES to succeed again as a film artist. The sight and sound of the cigar smokin’ and implicitly Sir Scott or Jean-Luc Godard linked indie heating engineer Archibald “Harry” Tuttle-his name evoking original TWILIGHT ZONE telefilm series makeup artist William Tuttle to affirm the implicitly twilit theme of the piece, and played by Robert De Niro-literally being overwhelmed and terminated by paperwork also implied the belief of Gilliam that the cigar smokin’ and equally indie Sir Scott would also disappear, an additional implication affirmed by the film’s allusions to BLADE RUNNER.
As for Alex Cox, he implicitly roasted Gilliam in the form of Rock Head-played by Stuart Fox-an American drug dealer in London, which implied that Cox was not fond of the addictive visual f/x in BRAZIL, in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Sir Scott roasting indie docufeature film SID AND NANCY (1986), a film released on May 14, 1986 that implied that BLADE RUNNER was as violent and incomprehensible as Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen-played by Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, respectively. Curiously, the following year Cox again implicitly roasted Gilliam in the form of the eccentric and indie and but luvable and sensible Chuch-played by Sara Sugarman-one of the few implicitly film artist linked denizens of an outlaw Western town to survive the closing shootout at the bloody end of the twilit and allegorical indie docufeature film STRAIGHT TO HELL (1987), released on May 14, 1987.
For their part, Lucas and Ron Howard combined to implicitly roast the determined and madcap attempts of Cameron, Cox, Gilliam, and Robbins to implicitly use their post-82 film art to implicitly roast all of the film artists responsible for the TZ disaster and the decision of Lucas to work with Kennedy and Marshall on the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, and Ozian themed Spielberg indie docufeature film INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984) and to liberate film art from the capacious jaws of the twilit and slathering blockbuster beast to the equally determined and madcap quest of the implicitly Cameron and Cowardly Lion linked warrior Airk of Bairk-played by Gavin O’Herlihy-the implicitly Cox and Tin Man linked sorceress Fin Raziel-played by Patricia Hayes-the mischievous, female impersonating and implicitly Gilliam and Scarecrow linked swordsman Madmartigan-played by Val Kilmer-and the implicitly Robbins and Great Oz linked Nelwyn sorceror’s apprentice Willow Ufgood-played by Warwick Davis-to rescue the implicitly Dorothy linked baby princess Elora Danan-played by Kate and Ruth Greenfield, respectively-from the Wicked Queen Bavmorda-played by Jean Marsh-her Evil minions, led by the implicitly Nikko the flying monkey king linked General Kael-his surname evoking film critic Pauline Kael, and played by Pat Roach, who played Hephaestus in CLASH OF THE TITANS-and the slathering two-headed stop-motion blockbuster beast, the Siskebert-its name evoking film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel to implicitly reaffirm that the film was also lashing out at film critics-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed indie animaction film WILLOW (1988), a film released on May 20, 1988 whose implicit Gilliam and Robbins roasting intent was affirmed by the film’s allusions to AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, DRAGONSLAYER, JABBERWOCKY, THE BEASTMASTER and TIME BANDITS.
For his part, Gilliam left behind the twilit gloom and doom of BRAZIL and embraced daylit life, luv and indomitable carefree exuberance when he donned the co-writer/director hats and teamed up again with Dennis, Idle, McKeown, Pryce, Purvis, Ray Cooper-who played a bloodless MOI bureaucrat in BRAZIL-and BRAZIL composer Michael Kamen to merge his cut-out animation with live action and art with blockbuster again for his most gleefully demented animaction mayhem so far in the daylit, allegorical, fantastic realist, madcap, satirical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed indie animaction artbuster called THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE CYCLIST in Waikato and usually known most everywhere else as THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1988), released on December 8, 1988.
“Only I can end this war-
and celebrate with a cycling tour of China.”
Significantly, after another opening title that proudly proclaimed “… A TERRY GILLIAM FILM”, the film began with Kamen’s exuberantly and indomitably high spirited Main Theme playing over a black screen. This sight and sound reminded us that some of the Spielberg’s allegorical docufeature films like JAWS and DUEL (1971) had begun the same way, implying that Spielberg was being addressed in THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. However, the image of an army camped along a crescent moon shaped bay that evoked a waxing moon while the words “…Late 18th Century…Age of Reason…Wednesday” flashed on the screen now implied that the film was addressing Landis. For the waxing moon shaped bay reminded us that a waxing moon floated in a cloud scudded sky in the early morning hours of July 23, 1982 at the time of the TZ disaster, while the phrase “…see you next Wednesday” usually turned up somewhere in a Landis film. But before the mystery of whether the film was addressing Landis or Spielberg was resolved, a spirited battle filled with explosively erupting cannons broke out between the encamped army, which turned out to be Muslim, and a nameless fortified European city.
Soon we found ourselves in a live theatre with weary citizens who had wandered in to escape the war without. Here the redoubtable Henry Salt-played by Bill Paterson-did his best to help his fellow citizens escape their troubles for a while by playing the title role in an exuberant live production of the imaginative adventures of the legendary Baron Munchausen. Significantly, the play did more than entertain the war weary audience, for it also attracted the attention of the equally exuberant, indomitable, ultra-indie and implicitly Cameron and Glinda linked Heronomous Carl Frederick, the Baron Munchausen-played by John Neville. As Baron Munchausen soon left the city by hot air balloon to track down his four elemental Ozian companions, the implicitly Earth and Scarecrow linked and super strong Albrecht aka Bill-played by Dennis-the implicitly Water and Tin Man linked and fleet on his feet Berthold aka Desmond-played by Idle-the implicitly Fire and Cowardly Lion linked and sure shooting Adolphus-played by McKeown-and the implicitly Air and Great Oz linked Gustavus-played by Purvis-and used the power of the imagination and their exuberant indie spirits to triumph over the besieging Muslim army and its decapitation luving and, hence, implicitly Landis linked leader and Grand Turk, his Majesty the Sultan-played by Peter Jeffrey-the soulless, altogether too rational, uncreative and implicitly Spielberg linked bureaucrat running the besieged city, the Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson-played by Pryce-and the constantly shadowing and winged spectre of Death to liberate the city and save its citizens, in the triumphant end, Gilliam implied his hope that the equally exuberant, indomitable, imaginative and triumphant indie docufeature Zonebuster film art of Cameron would defeat Landis, Spielberg and the TZ disaster and free not just the besieged cinecity of Hollywood but audiences, film art, film artists and the Temple Theatre from the Twilight Zone just in time to kick off a daylit and CGI enhanced new era of film art in the Nineties.
Significantly and along the way, Baron Munchausen stopped at the equally twilit and first quarter moon to visit the exuberantly at one with the universe King o’ the Moon-who was implicitly linked to Lynch as he evoked Kyle MacLachlan’s equally moon luvin’ and at one with the dreaming universe Paul-Maud’dib Atreides in the twilit and allegorical Lynch indie moving painting DUNE (1984), and played by the fittingly loony Robin Williams-to pick up Berthold, and in the fiery and tempestuous depths of Mount Etna to visit the implicitly Kubrick linked Vulcan-played by Oliver Reed-to pick up Albrecht, visits with famous immortal men that evoked the sight and sound of the film bandits dropping by to visit and rob famous mortal men in TIME BANDITS. The irrepressible Baron and Albrecht and Berthold were also swallowed up by a blockbuster leviathan beast and in its belly picked up Adolphus, Gustavus and his faithful white horse Bucephalus. Fittingly, Munchausen was also joined on his fantastic journeys helped to succeed by Salt’s daughter, the fearless and implicitly Dorothy linked Sally-played by Sarah Polley. How fitting that Sally was a feisty girl feminist who was first met defacing the posters advertising “The Henry Salt and Son Players” by crossing out the “Son” and replacing the word with “Daughter”, given that the dread allegorical Zone Wars saw the successful and permanent arrival of female film artists in the Temple Theatre. Thus, it was doubly fitting that Sally was played by Polley and would also be tossed a rose by Munchausen before he disappeared, in the end, given that Polley would go on as an adult to be one of those equally feisty and fearless female film artists who would challenge Cameron for supremacy in the Temple Theatre with film art that was as exuberantly daylit and allegorical as THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN.
Alas for Gilliam, Polley and company, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN tanked in theatres, perhaps partly as a result of its too upbeat spirit at a time of few and mostly part-time minimum wage jobs for young people and its frequent flippant allusions to decapitation. This expensive failure tarnished the reputation of Gilliam, making financial backers and studios reluctant to go near the enfant Terry. Leading to a Dark Age in the life and film art of Gilliam, indeed, during which he no doubt wondered if he would ever direct a film again, or, worse yet perhaps, be forced forever after to accept telefilm assignments from the CBC, making it all too macabrely appropriate that he could be referred to as T.V. Gilliam. A Dark Dark Dark Darkest of Dark Ages that was a perfect time for a word from our sponsor.
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We now return to IT’S THE ARTS! And the scholarly “essay” on the indie animaction film art of Sir T.V. “Gilly Baby” Gilliam where, at this Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark Age, we find him depressed, despondent, despairing and all too fond of pedalling his ’64 Beijing Zephyr pensively down lonely back streets and taking consolation in women’s clothing, particularly a fetching and strapless summer dress by McQueen and a pair of casual but supportive flats by the good Doctor, Marten. Alas for brave Sir Terry, the striking McQueen/Marten combo was to no avail, as he was soon forced to don the director’s hat and team up again with Williams and create a dreaded Studio Mandated Film (SMF)-oh petty and pernicious Fate!-that was, not surprisingly, his most dejected, listless and sadcap film to date, the twilit, allegorical, fantastic realist and darkly satirical animaction film sympathetically referred to in Vancouver as EASY CYCLIST and often known to the rest of the world as THE FISHER KING (1991), released on September 10, 1991.
“I like a cycling tour of China in June-
how about you?”
Curiously, the sight of the white winged Pegasus of the Tri-Stars Pictures logo running toward the camera fittingly evoked the sight and sound of Perseus astride Pegasus in CLASH OF THE TITANS and the sight of Baron Munchausen astride Bucephalus before both disappeared into the daylit eternity of allegorical myth at the end of THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. Soon after the Tri-Stars Pictures logo, the third opening title proclaimed, despite the fact that THE FISHER KING was a dreaded SMF, that the film was “…A TERRY GILLIAM FILM”, as an opening title had more proudly proclaimed at the beginning of THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. It was an ironic allusion to the daylit and irrepressibly upbeat last Gilliam film, for THE FISHER KING was relentlelessly dark and depressed. The dark and downward spiral began soon after the film opened, with popular and implicitly Lucas linked New York shock jock “Wolfman” Jack Lucas-played by Jeff Bridges-found in the sound booth of a radio station and photographed in such a way as to make it appear like a jail cell, complete with the blinds creating cell bar-like shadows across the walls.
Thus, given that Lucas was already implicitly imprisoned by Fate, it was not surprising that soon after meeting him, JD DJ Lucas abandoned his controversial radio show and wound up on the skids after being traumatized by the revelation that the last caller on his final radio show, one Edwin Malnick-played by Christian Clemenson-was inspired by his anti-yuppy rant to shoot up a popular yuppy restaurant called Babbit’s. The sight and sound of the life of Lucas going into a tailspin after the Babbit’s disaster reminded us that the life of Lucas had also gone into a tailspin after the TZ disaster. Significantly, the fact that Edwin Malnick pulled off the Babbit’s disaster also reminded us that Lucas had worked closely with Edwin Catmull to perfect CGI after the TZ disaster so as to prevent future film set disasters with realistic CGI effects, thus reaffirming the implicit link of Lucas to Lucas and implicitly equating Malnick’s massacre with Catmull’s reality and humanity killing CGI.
Curiously, the implicit link of Lucas to Lucas was soon reaffirmed by the arrival of the equally troubled and implicitly Spielberg linked ex-scholar of myths and legends, Doctor Henry Sagan aka brave Sir Parry, a bold and true Grail Knight-played by Williams-who had also fallen by the wayside after his wife-played by Lisa Blades-was killed by Malnick in the shooting rampage in Babbit’s. For the name of Dr. Henry Sagan and his obsession with the Holy Grail evoked the name of two fisted archaeologist Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones jr.-played by Harrison Ford-and his own quixotic quest for the implicitly Oscar linked Holy Grail in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, Lucas executive produced and Kennedy and Marshall produced Spielberg indie docufeature film INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989).
Just as curiously, Lucas succeeded in his madcap quest to find the surrogate Holy Grail in the form of a silver cup trophy won as a lad for work done on the Christmas Pageant of 1932 by local New York billionaire Langdon Carmichael-played by Mel Bourne-and used it to heal Dr. Sagan and himself, freeing Dr. Sagan from the fiery and violent grip of the flaming Red Knight-played by Chris Howell-the film’s blockbuster beast, in the process. And so health and harmony returned to the lives of Lucas and Dr. Sagan, in the end, implying the hope of Gilliam that health and harmony would also return to the lives of Lucas and Spielberg, allowing them to succeed again in the Nasty Nineties. As for Oliver Stone, he implicitly likened Gilliam and his gleefully out of control film art to the gleefully out of control murdering pair of Mickey and Mallory Knox-played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, respectively-in the twilit, allegorical, and CGI enhanced indie docufeature film NATURAL BORN KILLERS (1994), a film released on August 26, 1994 whose implicit allegorical intent was affirmed by allusions to the film art of Gilliam.
Then an implicit new hope in Lucas was missing when Gilliam sighed resignedly, donned the director’s cap and teamed up with Simon Jones-who played a bloodless bureaucrat in BRAZIL-and THE FISHER KING director of photography (DOP) Roger Pratt for another sadcap SMF, the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, fantastic realist and darkly satirical animaction film known in Streetsville as THE WIZARD OF BICYCLES and everywhere else including Chicago as 12 MONKEYS (1995), released on December 8, 1995 and inspired by the allegorical Chris Marker short indie docufeature film LA JETEE (1962).
“They’re here! You see!
The twelve bicycle riding monkeys
For the film long and failed quest of the desperate, distraught, shaven headed and implicitly Lucas and Tin Man linked memory of the future tinged past plagued time traveller James Cole-played as a traumatized boy by Joseph Melito, and as an equally traumatized man by Bruce Willis, respectively-to repeatedly travel from a bleak future Baltimore where the remnants of a plague decimated humanity lived underground and back in time to the final years of the Nineties before the arrival of the decimating worldwide plague that killed most people on Earth in 1997-a neo-Medieval plague that reminded us that Gilliam was still in the midst of his own Dark SMF Age-to frantically attempt to stop the implicitly Cameron and Great Oz linked mad scientist Doctor Peters-played by David Morse-from releasing the plague implied that Gilliam now did not think that Lucas would return to the Temple Theatre with a CGI enhanced film that would restore his reputation, beat Cameron and prevent a pernicious plague of CGI enhanced blockbuster beasts from killing worldwide film art. Indeed, the film’s allusions to the eerily and presciently twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Kubrick roasting Lucas indie docufeature film THX 1138 (1971)-with its own future underground society full of shaven headed inmate citizens-the allegorical and implicitly Ralph Bakshi roasting Lucas indie docufeature film AMERICAN GRAFITTI (1973), the allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Spielberg roasting Lucas indie docufeature film STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (1977), the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Lucas and Lynch roasting Cameron indie docufeature Zonebuster THE TERMINATOR (1984), the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Lynch roasting Cameron indie docufeature Zonebuster TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991), and the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Spielberg roasting indie telefilm series THE YOUNG INDIANA JONES ADVENTURES (1992-96) affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Cameron and Lucas.
The presence of the implicitly Kathryn Bigelow and Dorothy linked and Baltimore based psychiatrist Doctor Kathryn Railly-played by Madeleine Stowe-who attended to Cole when his “ravings” about the plague devastated future led him to be institutionalized in Baltimore madhouse scenes that evoked the sympathy shown to those suffering from mental and spiritual illness in THE FISHER KING, also affirmed the implicit Lucas roasting intent of the film. For Dr. Railly reminded us that Bigelow had at that point implicitly and sympathetically addressed Lucas in a Lucas Trilogy comprised of the twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed indie docufeature film NEAR DARK (1987) and the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed indie docufeature artbusters POINT BREAK (1991) and STRANGE DAYS (1995). The presence of the madcap and implicitly Tim Burton and Cowardly Lion linked Jeffrey Goines-played by Brad Pitt-also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lucas, reminding us that Burton implicitly linked Lucas to the troubled Gotham City playboy Bruce Wayne aka “Batman”-played by Michael Keaton-in the twilit and allegorical super satirical animaction film BATMAN (1989) and the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical animaction artbuster BATMAN RETURNS (1992).
Then, ironically, and despite the implicit fear and loathing of CGI expressed in THE FISHER KING, CGI returned when Gilliam sighed resignedly, donned the co-writer/director caps and teamed up with Cooper, Helmond, Michael Jeter-who played Eddie, the despondent and homeless gay cabaret singer in THE FISHER KING-and Christopher Meloni-who played police Lieutenant Halperin in 12 MONKEYS-to use another dreaded sadcap SMF-nnnoooooo!-to complete his American Nightmare Trilogy with the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, fantastic realist, and darkly satirical animaction film known in London as GONE WITH THE CYCLIST and often referred to everywhere else as FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998), released on May 15, 1998 and inspired by the allegorical Hunter S. Thompson book Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1971).
“He who makes a beast of himself on a bicycle
gets rid of the pain of being a man.”
Curiously, the film began with the drunk and stoned Raoul Duke and his “attorney” Doctor Gonzo-played by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro, respectively-picking up an increasingly alarmed hitchhiker-played by Tobey Maguire-as they barrelled down a desert highway to Las Vegas in a cherry red ’71 Chevy Impala convertible under a clear blue sky. Significantly, this tragicomic sight and sound evoked the equally tragicomic sight and sound of the implicitly Stone and Sofia Carmina (SCC) Coppola linked Bobby Peru and Perdita-played by Willem Dafoe and Isabella Rossellini, respectively-driving the luvable and implicitly Sir Scott linked lunk Sailor Ripley-played by Nicolas Cage-in the back seat of a similar cherry red ’76 Cadillac Eldorado convertible to the bank robbery in Lobo, Texas that climaxed the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and implicitly Sir Scott addressing Lynch indie moving painting WILD AT HEART (1990). Thus, Gilliam implied at the outset that he was addressing Lynch, in the implicit form of Duke, on one level in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS.
The fact that Duke and Gonzo’s prolific drug and alcohol use throughout the film constantly evoked the equally consciousness altering and vision causing spice melange in DUNE reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch-indeed, the name of Raoul Duke evoked that of Maud’dib in DUNE. The appearance of Gary Busey as lonely Nevada Highway Patrol Officer Pullmen openly linked the film to Lynch, for Busey played Bill Dayton in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lucas addressing Lynch indie moving painting LOST HIGHWAY (1997). The appearance of Troy Evans as an outraged Michigan police chief trying to get a hotel room for a police convention in Vegas also openly linked the film to Lynch, for Evans played Twin Peaks High School Principal George Wolchezk in the twilit and allegorical Lynch telemoving painting series TWIN PEAKS (1990-91). Last but not least, the quick cameo of Harry D. Stanton as an angry judge in a guilty fantasy sequence also openly linked the film and Duke to Lynch, as Stanton played intrepid but doomed private investigator Johnny Farragut in WILD AT HEART.
Just as curiously, the film’s allusions to the allegorical and often eerily and presciently twilit Coppola indie docufeature films YOU’RE A BIG BOY NOW (1966), MARIO PUZO’S THE GODFATHER (1972), APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) and ONE FROM THE HEART (1982), and to the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lynch addressing Coppola indie docufeature film GARDENS OF STONE (1987) also implied that the film was addressing Coppola, in the implicit form of Dr. Gonzo, on another level. Indeed, the implicit link of Bigelow to a disgruntled waitress-played by Ellen Barkin-at the North Star Coffee Lounge in Las Vegas implicitly affirmed that Gilliam was sympathetically roasting Coppola and Lynch in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. For Bigelow implicitly roasted Coppola and Lynch in the implicit forms of ex-police officer/rapist/murderer Max Peltier and music producer Philo Gant-played by Tom Sizemore and Michael Wincott, respectively-in STRANGE DAYS, implying that Gilliam was replying to that film in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. The fact that the scenes in the North Star Coffee Lounge evoked scenes in the Double R Diner in TWIN PEAKS and in a small town diner in the presciently twilit and allegorical Bigelow and Monty Montgomery indie docufeature film THE LOVELESS (1981) reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Bigelow and Lynch. In fact, the appearance of Evans as that outraged police chief also openly linked the film to Bigelow, as he played a concerned detective in NEAR DARK.
Significantly, when the film wasn’t wobbling with Ministry of Booze and Drug Addled Silly Walks, it was an implicit, sad eyed and wistful meditation by Duke on the end of the Rebel Sixties and of the higher minded New Hollywood era of film art and the beginning of the lower minded and loot lusting CGI enhanced blockbuster beast era after the TZ disaster in 1982, with Las Vegas and its money lusting casinotels implicitly symbolizing Hollywood and its beastly blockbuster loot lusting studios, particularly the Bazooko Circus Casino, home to the openly film art linked Flying Fellini trapeze team. Indeed, the fact that the second Las Vegas casinotel room that was trashed by Duke and Dr. Gonzo was numbered 2073 implicitly affirmed that the film was also meditating wistfully on all that had gone wrong for Coppola, Lynch and the rest of New Hollywood since July 23, 1982.
Thus, it was fitting that while CGI featured more prominently in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS than in 12 MONKEYS, it was treated with fear and loathing throughout the film. Indeed, CGI was used to enhance creepy psychedelic scenes that saw the faces of tourists and employees of the casinotels of the real life Emerald City of Las Vegas with its Neon Of Many Colours warping into nightmarish masks or the same denizens transformed into lizard people when Duke was drunk and/or stoned out of his gourd and plagued by nightmarish visions that made those of brave Sir Parry in THE FISHER KING and Goines in 12 MONKEYS look mild in comparison. And how fitting that one of the last shots in the film that saw Duke typing away in the trashed and flooded Room 2073 was lit and shadowed in such a way as to give the impression that the room was a jail cell. For the sight and sound evoked the similar radio station sound booth as jail cell beginning of THE FISHER KING and the various cells Cole was imprisoned in in 12 MONKEYS, linking FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS to those two films to truly bring the American Nightmare Trilogy full SMF circle.
As for Jonathan Frakes, he returned to the Temple Theatre that year to implicitly roast Gilliam and the implicitly anti-CGI outlook of 12 MONKEYS in the symbolic form of the nefarious Ru’afo-played by F. Murray Abraham-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and BRAZIL evoking animaction film STAR TREK INSURRECTION (1998), released on December 10, 1998. The sly fi roasts continued the following year, for Lucas implicitly linked Gilliam to the headstrong and indie Jedi Knight Qui Gonn Jinn-played by Liam Neeson-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting animaction film STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999), released on May 26, 1999. Burton also implicitly linked Gilliam to Brom Van Tassel-played by Casper Van Dien-and had him team up with the implicitly Polley linked Katrina Van Tassel-played by Ricci-and the timorous and implicitly Cronenberg linked NYPD Constable Ichabod Crane-played by Depp-to desperately exorcise and free the town of Sleepy Hollow of the remorselessly and relentlessly decapitating nightmare of the implicitly Paul Verhoeven linked Headless Horseman-played by Christopher Walken-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999), released on November 17, 1999.
Then it was time to pedal eagerly off to Gilliam’s next indie animaction film THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE, which was inspired by the allegorical and implicitly William Shakespeare roasting Miguel de Cervantes indie docufeature novel Don Quixote (1605/16) and which broke its chain on a steep incline and refused to continue during production in Espana, ending the production to the frustration of all, a tragicomic collapse detailed in the twilit and allegorical Keith Fulton and Luis Pepe indie documentary film known as THE PARROT HOPPED BACKWARDS in Cairo and in some other countries as LOST IN LA MANCHA (2002), released on February 11, 2002 in the twentieth anniversary year of the TZ disaster.
A tragicomic and frustrating experience, indeed, and one perfect for a deft dab of a damp sponge on the sweaty forehead of Mr. Edward “Eddie Baby” Edwards-Edwards, world renowned bicycle repair man, by his keen and earnest young apprentice, A. Gumby, at a critical moment of the repair of a restored ’64 Beijin Zephyr in front of a mid-week morning crowd of appreciative tourists at the Chinese Bicycle Museum in Ipswich, before we return to a bitterly disappointed and despondent Gilliam, wailing in despair and pulling out his hair over this latest malevolent manifestation of perfidious Fate, before gently but firmly releasing this unfortunate circumstance with a resigned sigh and channeling his frenetic frustration into another twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, fantastic realist and satirical animaction film spelt BICYCLETTES D’AMOUR in Paris and in the rest of the world as THE TIMELY AND FISHY ADVENTURES OF BAZOOKY THE JABBERING MONKEY AND HIS FEARSOME SINO-BRAZILIAN BICYCLE (2003.58), released on Octember 29, 2099.
“Here’s to humans in stinking cages-
Of course, the allusive title of the film, which openly but subtly referred to all of the allegorical, fantastic realist and satirical animaction film art of Gilliam, immediately implied that, as in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, he was again moodily meditating on his derailed film art career and how he had been forced to accept dreaded SMFs-aaaaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhh!-after the failure of THE ADVENTURES OF BARON BICYCLIST. Thus, the sight of Bazooky the jabbering monkey-played by Oodle the poodle-jubilantly pedalling his Sino-Brazilian astro-bicycle across the solar system and being waylaid by the Red Herring Hood-played by Marilyn Gable-the mysterious and enigmatic leader of a hot blooded crew of dimunitive and time travelling space pirates in the cold and lawless asteroid belt between Mars and Ipswich implicitly symbolized---
We profusely apologize for the foregoing nonsense, caused by a lingering head injury suffered by Dr. Cromwell-Derailleur while biking up the Great Pyramid of Giza without an approved helmet. Dr. Gunda Fahrradgottin of the University of Wittenberg will now complete the essay.
Danke, Doktor Smithee. Intriguingly, this unusually frustrating time in Herr Gilliam’s life is perhaps best summed up not by words but by “Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Bicycle Bell”, my Concerto for Bicycle Bells in D Major. First, we start with eerie and twilit silence, the eerie and shocked silence that suddenly settled on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE after the fatal helicopter crash. Then, the sad and mournful sound of a bicycle bell keening softly and plaintively rents the…
Yes, yes, danke very much, Frau Gottinfahrrad. Our profound apologies for this additional foregoing nonsense. We will now play “Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Bicycle Bell” in the more appropriate C Minor.
Stop it! Stop it at once! This has become much too silly! Time for some discipline in the ranks. Stand at attention, you slackers! Eyes front! And get that smirk off your face, reader! Do you think this is a game? Right! That’s better. It’s clearly time to get you scousers back on the right path, and who better to do that than Mr. Wright. !Get on with it, Gardevil!
At once, Colonel! !Ready aye ready! Of course, what we really needed to know was that, after failing to create the thought provoking allegorical film THE MAN WHO KILLED THROATWARBLER MANGROVE, and after being implicitly roasted in the implicit form of Duke-played by Derek Jacobi-in the fittingly tragicomic, twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Cox indie docufeature film REVENGERS TRAGEDY (2002), released on August 6, 2002, Don Gilliam de la Bicicleta Zephyr proved that he had not quite run out of creative beans yet when he donned the director’s hat, teamed up again with Pryce and attempted to escape from dreaded SMF limbo forever by returning to the fantastic realms where his film art career began in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, fantastic realist, madcap and satirical animaction film often referred to in New York as BICYCLE REPAIR MAN: THE MOVIE and in many other parts of the solar system as THE BROTHERS GRIMM (2005), released on August 26, 2005 and inspired by the fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm.
“Good people of Marbaden,
your daughters will be returned,
and you shall regain your courage-
and your bicycles!”
Tragicomically, the frantic and frenetic film set in French occupied Germany in 1811 revolved around the quixotic and madcap quest of the implicitly Lucas and Tin Man linked Willhelm Grimm-played by Matt Damon-and his implicitly Spielberg and Great Oz linked brother, Jakob Grimm-played by Heath Ledger-the implicitly Bigelow and Glinda linked trapper Angelika Krauss-played by Lena Headey-and the implicitly Burton linked Mercurio Cavaldi-played by Peter Stormare-to free the small but fortified and Hollywood cadenced citadel of Marbaden, Germany and its surrounding and creepy CGI enhanced woods of the insidious and vampiric grip of a CGI enhanced blockbuster beast of an implicitly Wicked Witch of the West linked Queen of Mirrors and deadly illusions-also implicitly linked to Deborah Nadoolman, the wife of John Landis, and played by Monica Belluci-and her favourite and implicitly Landis and Nikko the Monkey King linked servant, the Woodsman-played by Tomas Hanak-whose ability to transform into a werewolf made him a beastly and nasty fellow with big, sharp, slathering, pointed teeth, indeed, and one whose lycanthropy affirmed his implicit link to Landis via the eerily and presciently twilit, allegorical and implicitly Kubrick roasting Landis indie docufeature film AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981).
The fact that the Brothers Grimm, Krauss and Cavaldi succeeded in their madcap and implicit quest to defeat and free the city of Marbaden from the insidious grip of the Woodsman and the Witch at last-and, to a lesser extent, from the more tragicomic and slightly less insidious grip of the implicitly Neal Jordan linked French General Vavarian Delatombe-and returned from the towering forest lair of the Witch in triumph to Marbaden, in the end, implied a new hope on the part of Gilliam that Lucas and Spielberg would put aside their feuding and work together to defeat and free audiences, film art, film artists and the Temple Theatre from the equally insidious grip of John and Deborah, the TZ disaster and the Twilight Zone and kick off a neo eon of CGI enhanced film art. An implicit hope that disappeared when Gilliam donned the director’s cap and teamed up again with Bridges on the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, fantastic realist, sadcap and satirical indie animaction film not known in Tokyo as SEVEN CYCLISTS and not referred to anywhere else as anything but TIDELAND (2005), released on September 9, 2005 and surprisingly based on the twilit and allegorical Mitch Cullin indie docufiction novel Tideland (2000).
“Here’s the monster shark!
!It’s coming for our bicycles!”
Significantly, the film began with music and the voice of a girl-played by Jodelle Ferlan-reading from the allegorical Carroll novel Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (1865) heard over a black screen, again evoking the idiosyncratic Spielberg way of starting a film that Gilliam had already imitated at the beginning of THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. Thus, before the black screen disappeared and the film even began, the implication was that Gilliam was roasting Spielberg again as in JABBERWOCKY, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN and THE FISHER KING. Curiouserly, however, after that Spielbergian beginning, and after seeing the girl playing in a gorgeously daylit and lush sea of Saskatchewan barley or wheat or grass and in an abandoned school bus lying amongst that sussurating sea, we then travelled back in time and rocked out at a club with the implicitly Cox linked Boomer rock star Noah-played by Bridges.
Returning home, we found that Noah was a heroin addict, that the girl was his implicitly Natalie Portman and Dorothy linked daughter Jeliza Rose, and that his wife was the troubled and haggish addict Queen Gunhilda-played by Jennifer Tilly-whose resemblance to Courtney Love affirmed the implicit link of Noah to Cox, given that Love played Gretchen in SID AND NANCY and Velma in STRAIGHT TO HELL. Soon Queen Gunhilda died of a reaction to methadone, dying like the Wicked Witch of the East at the beginning of all Ozian themed films, causing Noah to flee with Jeliza Rose to the isolated, deserted, and run down rural family home that he fled as a youth, the one with that daylit and lush sea of Saskatchewan graingrass already seen in the film’s prologue, where he then faded wistfully away in one last immobilizing Tin Man heroin rush, perhaps implying that Gilliam believed or hoped that Cox would also fade away. Leaving Jeliza Rose all alone with Baby Blond, Glitter Gal, Mustique and Sateen Lips, her fourceful quartet of doll heads, and soon back in the Spielberg roasting territory implied by the black screen that began TIDELAND.
For Rose left the beat up old house and explored that cheerily daylit and lush sea of Saskatchewan graingrass, soon meeting and befriending as best she could her neighbours, the implicitly Spielberg and Wicked Witch of the West linked Dell-played by Janet McTeer-and her younger brother, the implicitly Cameron and Nikko linked and epileptic childman Dickens-played by Brendan Fletcher. Tragicomically, Dickens quickly affirmed his implicit link to Cameron by confiding to Jeliza Rose his desperate and obsessive quest in his imaginary submarine-bicycles no doubt being a bit awkward to ride through a daylit and lush sea of Saskatchewan grain or grass-to hunt down and kill a blockbuster beast of a shark that infested that part of the prairie, a blockbuster shark that turned out to be a blockbuster train. For the obsessive submarining quest evoked Cameron’s luv of submarines, underwater exploration and equally obsessive and quixotic assaults on the blockbuster beast in his twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and always righteously indie furious Zonebusting films. Of course, this imaginary blockbuster shark with big rows of tearing teeth openly evoked the great white shark of JAWS, affirming the implicit link of Dell to Spielberg and reminding us that Gilliam had kicked off his solo film art career with the implicitly Spielberg and JAWS roasting JABBERWOCKY.
Curiouserly and curiouserly, Dickens appeared to succeed in his quest, for the film ended with Rose wandering through the fiery and smoking night amongst the dead and wounded passengers of a train derailment, a blockbuster derailment perhaps caused by the deranged Dickens using stolen dynamite to terminate the blockbuster train shark beast that so bedeviled him. It was an unusually pensive and despondent climatic triumph over the beast that implied that not only that Gilliam believed that Cameron would never succeed in his obsessive Zonebusting quest to slay the twilit beast, but that perhaps it was best not to bother, given that the TZ disaster had resulted in highly realistic CGI that was able to create bigger blockbuster beasts with big, sharp slathering teeth than ever before.
An implicit allegorical intent that did not impress Sean Penn, for he implicitly roasted Gilliam and TIDELAND in the twilit, allegorical and CGI free indie docufeature film INTO THE WILD (2007), released on September 7, 2007. However, despite this roasting, a more relaxed and confident embrace of CGI continued when Gilliam finally left behind that dreaded SMF limbo when he donned the co-writer/director caps and teamed up again with Cooper, Depp, Ledger, McKeown, Christopher Plummer-who played Leland Goines in 12 MONKEYS-Verne Troyer-who played a mysterious little person in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS-and Tom Waits-who played a Vietnam vet named E. Apricot reduced to begging in Union Station in THE FISHER KING-on the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, fantastic realist, madcap and satirical indie animaction film known in Ho Chi Minh City as THE SOUND OF BICYCLE BELLS, and better known outside of Berlin as THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARN-ASSUS (2009), released on May 22, 2009.
“You can’t stop stories being told-
on or off bicycles.”
Curiously, after repeated viewings, the film was as mysterious and ambiguous as ever. An ambiguous and mysterious film that saw the morosely immortal, story for story’s sake and implicitly Coppola linked Doctor Parn-assus-played by Plummer-make a wager with the gleefully insidious, blockbuster and beastly Devil-fittingly played by Waits, a veteran of numerous Coppola films including ONE FROM THE HEART-to exchange his immortality for a peaceful and anonymous old age if he saved five souls from damnation before the Devil dragged them off to Hell, five souls that evoked the five dreaded SMFs after the popular and financial failure of THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. A wager that the good Doctor won with the help of the fantastic world of the individual imagination hidden behind his Temple Theatre screen evoking and indie mobile magic theatre mirror, a gleefully madcap, creative and colourful CGI enhanced world that often turned the film into a CGI version of the cut-out animation sequences that Gilliam created for MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS. A victory that triumphed over the perhaps Lynch linked amnesiac victim Tony-played variously by Depp, Ledger, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, respectively-and was aided by and which saved the Doctor’s sweet and saucy daughter Valentina-presumably linked to SCC, despite the fact that she did not resemble her at all, and played by Lily Cole-the implicit embodiment of pure and higher minded film art, and returned him to everyday, unenhanced reality bumming alone and without a bicycle on Robson Street outside the Roman Coliseum evoking Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library implying that Gilliam admired Coppola’s unswerving lifelong commitment to film art for film art’s sake, and was confident that SCC was successfully carrying on the family tradition. Indeed, the film’s allusions to the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Lynch addressing Coppola indie docufeature film YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH (2007) affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Coppola and SCC.
For his part, Coppola teamed up with Waits to implicitly address Gilliam in the twilit and allegorical indie docufeature film TWIXT (2011), a film released on September 11, 2011 that was inspired by the allegorical Edgar A. Poe indie docufiction stories “The Cask Of Amontillado” (1846) and “The Gardevil In The Belfry” (1353).
“The fog on the lake hid the cyclist.”
Indeed, the sight and sound of the implicitly Gilliam linked and struggling writer Hall Baltimore-played by Kilmer-driving into the town of Swann Valley at the beginning of the film to promote his latest mostly ignored twilit and allegorical indie docufiction novel Witch Hunter (201?) after an opening voiceover by Waits that set the strange scene evoked the sight and sound of the Brothers Grimm riding on horseback into the town of Marbaden in THE BROTHERS GRIMM, affirming the implicit Gilliam addressing intent of the film. Intriguingly, Coppola then implied that Baltimore’s quest to track down a child serial killer in Swann Valley with the help of visionary dreams and nightmares that featured the implicitly film art for film art’s sake and Walt Disney linked ghost of the literary art for literary art’s sake Poe-played by Ben Chaplin-and the ghost of the murdered girl Virginia aka V-played by Elle Fanning-equated with striking back at Disney’s recent purchase of Marvel Comics/Studios and its decision to unleash an avalanche of twilit, allegorical and beastly blockbuster CGI enhanced super satirical animaction films on the Temple Theatre that would implicitly “kill” the imaginations of children and their ability to appreciate more higher minded film art for film art’s sake like that of Disney and Gilliam. For the murderer turned out to be the exuberantly demented, shamelessly self-promoting, loot lusting and implicitly Smilin’ Stan “the Man” Lee linked Sheriff Bobby LaGrange-played by Bruce Dern-who was curiously inspired to kill by the ghost of Pastor Allan Floyd-played by Anthony Fusco-who was implicitly linked to then Disney CEO Bob Iger and was another Swann Valley child serial killer who had killed V and a group of other children decades earlier in 1955. Luckily for Baltimore, hunting down Baltimore and his visionary and Poe and V haunted nightmarish dreams also inspired him to finish the twilit and allegorical indie docufiction novel The Vampire Executions (201?), in the end.
Intriguingly, V resembled Poe’s cousin Virginia and Baltimore’s deceased daughter, Vicki-played by Fiona Medaris-who had been killed young in a tragic boating accident and who haunted him even more than Poe and V. This reminded us that Coppola’s youngest son Gian-Carlo “Gio” Coppola, had also died young after a tragic boating accident, linking Vicki to Gio and the Coppola clan as well as V. The haunting presence of the twelve year old V also reminded us that the year before the release of TWIXT, SCC had been implicitly linked by Disney, Marvel and Jon Favreau to the Russian ex-assassin and ex-model Natasha Romanoff aka “the Black Widow”-inspired by a character created by Lee, Don Rico and Don Heck for Marvel Comics, and played by Scarlett Johansson-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Jason Reitman addressing super satirical animaction film IRON MAN 2 (2010). Thus, by triumphing over Pastor Floyd and outing Sheriff LaGrange as the serial killer with the help of Poe and the mysterious and implicitly Sir Peter Jackson linked young indie rebel biker known only as Flamingo-played by Alden Ehrenreich-Baltimore freed V and Coppola, Gilliam, Sir Jackson and Uncle Walt implicitly freed SCC from the grips of Iger, Disney, Lee, Marvel and Favreau, an implication affirmed by the film’s allusions to 12 MONKEYS and THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARN-ASSUS, and by the fact that Fanning openly linked TWIXT to SCC via her role as Cleo Marco in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Lucas roasting SCC indie docufeature film SOMEWHERE (2010).
And so Coppola brought his storied film art for film art’s sake career full circle with another fine, memorable, allegorical, low budget and indie docufeature horror film that reminded us that he began his life in film art with the equally fine, memorable, and eerily and presciently twilit, allegorical and low budget indie docufeature horror film DEMENTIA 13 (1963). As for Gilliam, his madcap give the cat a Jabberwack spirits were implicitly raised by the creation and success of THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARN-ASSUS which broke him free from SMF limbo, for an indomitable commitment to his own idiosyncratic and imaginative indie animaction film art returned with Cooper and Damon in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, fantastic realist, madcap and satirical indie animaction film known every second Tuesday in Beijing as PLANET OF THE CYCLISTS and everywhere else except Ottawa as THE ZERO THEOREM (2013), released on September 2, 2013.
“Is he all right?
And does he have a bicycle?”
Significantly, the madcap, solitary, tragicomic and mostly pointless quest of the eccentric and obsessively number crunching ManCom employee Qohen Leth-as bald as Cole in 12 MONKEYS, and played by Christoph Waltz-to find the answer to the all important Zero Theorem aka the “ZT” was implicitly linked to the equally madcap, solitary, tragicomic and mostly pointless quest of Gary Wright to decipher and reveal the meaning of all of the fiction and film art of the dread allegorical Zone Wars. Indeed, the fact that the sight and sound of the bald Leth spending long hours at his computer in his lonely haunts frantically trying to solve the ZT evoked the sight and sound of the equally bald Wrigth spending long hours at his computer in his lonely apartment trying to solve the TZ implicitly reaffirmed the allegorical intent of Gilliam. The resemblance of the city outside his lonely apartment to Toronto also implicitly affirmed the film’s interest in a Toronto born and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) based film “scholar”. Last but not least, the appearance of the implicitly Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper linked Management-played by Damon-the implicitly Cronenberg linked whiz kid Bob-played by Lucas Hedges-and the implicitly Polley linked Bainsley-played by Melanie Thierry-reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Toronto film art, film artists and film art “scholars”.
For their part, Disney and Marvel Comics/Studios implicitly linked Gilliam to the initially brainwashed, traitorous and Evil but eventually Good James “Bucky” Barnes aka “the Winter Soldier”-inspired by a character created by Jaunty Joe Simon and Jolly Jack Kirby for Timely Comics, the predecessor of Marvel Comics, and played by Sebastian Stan-and, with a celery stick grasped firmly in his right hand, do his best to take on and take out the implicitly SCC linked Natasha Romanoff aka “Black Widow”-played again by Johansson-and the implicitly Clint Eastwood linked Steve Rogers aka “Captain America”-inspired by a character created for Timely/Marvel by Kirby and Simon, and played by Chris Evans-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Anthony and Joe Russo super satirical animaction film CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014), released on March 13, 2014. As for Angelina Jolie, she implicitly toasted Gilliam in the form of the indomitable Pacific War American airman Louis “Louie” Zamperini-played by Jack O’Connell-and implicitly roasted Penn and INTO THE WILD in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced docufeature film UNBROKEN (2014), released on November 17, 2014.
For their part, and not to be upstaged by Marvel, DC, Warner Brothers and Zack Snyder implicitly linked the madcap genius Gilliam to the equally madcap genius Alexander “Lex” Luthor-inspired by the character created for DC by Joltin’ Joe Shuster and Genial Jerry Siegel, and played by Jesse Eisenberg-and had him mischievously transform the implicitly Lucas linked General Zod-played by Michael Shannon-into Doomsday, the literal embodiment of the CGI enhanced blockbuster beast, a mayhem luving blockbuster beast that could only be stopped by the implicitly SCC linked Amazon Princess Diana Prince aka “Wonder Woman”-inspired by the character created by Dapper Doctor William M. Marston for DC, and played by Gal Gadot-the troubled and implicitly Gardevil linked Gotham City playboy Bruce Wayne aka “Batman”-inspired by the character created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane for DC, and played by Brandon Spink as a boy and Ben Affleck as an adult, respectively-and the implicitly Jason Reitman linked Kryptonian orphan Kal-El/Clark Kent aka “Superman”-inspired by the character created by Shuster and Siegel for DC, and played by Henry Cavill-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical animaction film BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016), a film released on March 12, 2016 whose implicit Gilliam roasting intent on one level was affirmed by allusions to MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARN-ASSUS, TIME BANDITS and 12 MONKEYS. Then Marvel and the Russo Brothers struck back by implicitly linking Gilliam again to James “Bucky” Barnes aka “the Winter Soldier”-played again by Stan-and had him first fight the Avengers and then join them in the desperate battle to defeat the implicitly Michael Eisner linked mad Titan, Thanos-played by Josh Brolin-in the twilit, allegorical, and CGI enhanced super satirical animaction films CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)-released on April 12, 2016-AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018)-released on April 23, 2018-and AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019), released on April 22, 2019, an implicit interest in Gilliam on one level affirmed by the allusions to BRAZIL, TIDELAND, TIME BANDITS and 12 MONKEYS.
Not surprisingly, these super satirical films did not inspire Gilliam to don the co-writer/director hats and collaborated again with Pryce on another version of THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, fantastic realist, madcap and satirical indie animaction film respectfully referred to as PING! PING! PING! NOOGA GOOGA POOGA! KTUNG! KTUNG! on the International Space Station and surprisingly on Earth as THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE (2018), released on May 18, 2018 and inspired by Don Quixote.
“My daughter…the whore…
and notorious bike thief!”
Curiously, the film revolved around an American tv commercial artist named Toby-played by Adam Driver-filming a Don Quixote themed commercial in Spain. Wandering away from the set on a motorcycle, he visited the village of Los Suenos where he had filmed his own version of the twilit and allegorical indie docufeature film THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE (2009) ten years earlier. Here he discovered to his surprised bemusement that Javier-played by Pryce-the old villager he had enlisted to play Quixote in his film, had been left forever after convinced that he was Don Quixote de la Mancha. Here in Los Suenos Toby also discovered to his surprised dismay that Angelica-played by Joana Ribeiro-the sweet and innocent waitress he had coaxed into playing Princess Dulcinea, had turned to prostitution after working on THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE. As Angelica’s embittered restaurant owner father Raoul-played by Hovik Keuchkerian-evoked longtime Coxman Miguel Sandoval, Gilliam implied that he was addressing Cox in the implicit form of Javier Quixote in his second version of THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE, an implication affirmed by the film’s allusions to REVENGERS TRAGEDY and STRAIGHT TO HELL.
Indeed, the fact that Angelica’s story reminded us that porn star Jeanette Benardello, who worked under the nom de porn of Mariah Milano, had adopted the nom d’art of Jaclyn Jonet when she played the equally spunky Delilah Torres in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Cox indie docufeature film SEARCHERS 2.0 (2007) and Pixxi “Pixxilita” De La Chasse in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Cox indie animaction film REPO CHICK (2009), had returned to porn after working with Cox, reaffirmed the implicit Cox addressing intent of THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE. Thus, the fact that, after numerous adventures that saw Toby acting as the Sancho Panzo squire to Javier Quixote as he attacked Hollywood windmills and Evildoers, the film ended with Quixote dying and Toby transforming into Toby Quixote and riding off into the sunset with Angelica as his faithful Sancha Panza implied that Gilliam hoped that Cox would just die already and his film art would fade away, in the end, as the sight and sound of the implicitly Cox linked Noah fading away into heroin limbo had implied in TIDELAND.
As Gilliam himself would fade away, making it fitting that the sight and sound of the knight errant and his doubtful squire evoked the sight and sound of the errant knights and faithful squires of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL and JABBERWOCKY, bringing the film art of Gilliam full indie circle. For THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE was quite possibly the final affirmation of brave Sir Gilliam’s unswerving commitment to a madcap, imaginative and idiosyncratic indie animaction film art for film art’s sake, making it fitting to ask the person in the street what they thought of brave Sir Gilliam’s lifelong commitment to higher minded film art and his indomitable cinematic quest to slay the slathering and insatiable blockbuster beast with big sharp teeth.
“Well, I think Terry Jones has done a wonderful job protecting us from the blockbuster beast! Simply smashing!” said a kindly old woman and helpful volunteer at the Chinese Bicycle Museum in Ipswich.
“The blockbuster beast with big pointed slathering teeth must be banned at once!” thundered a burly and bearded cyclist in a purple tutu. “At once!”
“Terry Gilliam? Did he ride for Virgin in last year’s Tour?” wondered aloud a young female police officer with a handlebar moustache.
“I luv BICYCLE REPAIR MAN: THE MOVIE!” enthused A. Gumby.
“Well, I didn’t take the slathering blockbuster beast with big sharp pointed teeth seriously until one bit my Aunt Percy on the left buttock,” said a man in a McQueen dress, Doc Marten flats and dark sunglasses.
“Rubbish! There is no such thing as a blockbuster beeaarrrrrggggghhhhkkkkk!”
Thus, and in the end, here at the conclusion of the essay, with no more left to write, finality staring us poignantly in the face, termination rushing towards us, cessation nigh and with that wistful feeling one gets at the conclusion of most anything, when we wonder about all of the might have beens and could have beens and should have beens, before pedalling quietly and pensively off into the softly gathering darkness on a ’64 Beijing Zephyr, Gilliam implicitly affirmed thaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhh!
“We do profusely apologize for the frustrating and disappointing inability of Mr. Wright to finish his “insightful” essay on the allegorical, madcap, idiosyncratic, fantastic realist, satirical and implicitly blockbuster beast thrashing indie animaction film art of Sir T.V. “Terry Baby” Gilliam. Unfortunately, however, a towering and ravenous Peruvian spotted llama with big sharp pointed slathering teeth sprang out from behind a stop sign and attacked Mr. Wright while he took a break from writing and rode off on a quick spin on a ’64 Beijing Zephyr to clear theeeaaarrrrgggghhhhhh!”
“Good evening. My name is Sir Edith Peacock, and I am the Secretary-Treasurer and LGBTQ liaison of the Chinese Bicycle Museum in Ipswich. On behalf of all of the members of the General Council of the museum, I would like to express my sincere and deepest apologies for the foregoing and completely uncalled for silliness. We all know that there are no such things as “towering” llamas with “big sharp pointed slathering teeth” who hide behind stop signs or shrubberies waiting patiently to attack unsuspecting cyclists and suspect Gardevils-particularly not llamas of the Peruvian spotted variety, a sound and sensible animal not given to confusions of blockbuster grandeur. In faaaaarrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!”
Right! That’s enough of this silliness. Clearly, the only blockbuster beast in these parts is the so called “scholar” who wrote all of the foregoing ridiculous rubbish, Garzilla, King of the Maniacs. With a little discipline, he might have written an essay that someone might have enjoyed reading and recommended to a friend. All in all, a shocking waste of human talent. Suffice to say that quite lucky to have so long enjoyed the perennially brilliant, original, imaginative, idiosyncratic, madcap, fantastic realist and satirical indie animaction film art of Gilliam were audiences, an irreverent oeuvre best described as completely and gleefully…Jabberwacky.
Christie, Agatha. Murder On The Orient Express. New York:
HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.
Gilliam, Terry. Gilliamesque: my me, me, me, me memoir.
Edinburgh: Canongate, 2015.
Gilliam, Terry and Michael Palin. Time Bandits: the movie
script. New York: Dolphin Books, 1981.
Sterritt, David and Lucille Rhodes. Terry Gilliam: interviews.
Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi, 2004.