Friday, March 14, 2014


Cartoonists as film directors:

... Throughout his childhood, [Terry] Gilliam was a voracious reader of comics. “I’ve got a cartoonist’s eye,” he says. “I see the grotesque, my eye goes for the odd thing in a scene, then emphasises it.” He copied cartoons from Mad magazine, and struck up a correspondence with its then-editor, Harvey Kurtzman. It was while working on another Kurtzman magazine, Help!, that he met John Cleese for the first time. Gilliam was in charge of the photographic comic strips known as fumettis. In 1965 he cast Cleese in a fumetti entitled “Christopher’s Punctured Romance”, as a man who develops a passion for his daughter’s Barbie doll.

When Gilliam wound up in England a few years later – “If I’d stayed in America I was gonna be throwing bombs,” he says, “and I’m a better cartoonist than terrorist” – he contacted Cleese, and the rest, pretty much, is history. ...

There's a spate of Gilliam articles out just now because Mr. G. is promoting a new film. But Den of Geek pokes at the imagination with this:

... "Do you think you'll ever direct an animated film?" we asked. "You'd be the perfect fit for something like that."

"I know," Gilliam said. "There’s the guys who made Coraline [Laika], who keep wanting to get together with me. They’re good people."

Before we get too excited, though, Gilliam was keen to mention that nothing had been agreed on just yet; "I’m really quite confused as to where I’m going to go next or what I’m going to do," the director told us. He also added that he was keen to design a videogame, and was waiting for a developer to contact him and invite him to collaborate on something. ...

Terry Gilliam returning to his roots and directing an animated feature is a happening to be wished, but nobody should hold their breath. He always creates mind-tickling films, but live action seems to be his bag now.

In the early eighties, Disney had a chance to pick up Time Bandits for a minimal amount. Sadly, the company passed, even though most of the younger animation staff was lobbying to see the studio distribute the movie. (How wrong can you go marketing a film with John Cleese and Sean Connery in it?)

So some other company released Time Bandits, and ended up making several buckets of money. (A domestic take of $42,000,000+ on a $5,000,000 budget Not shabby.)


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