Terry Gilliam: Studios are the Pirates (Oh, and more Python)

 Skrevet av Alexander G. Rubio - Publisert 22.02.2006 kl. 23:52 (Oppdatert 26.07.2007 kl. 21:17)

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Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam is one of those few film makers you'd call an artist without flinching. After all, he started out as one, before signing on with Monty Python, where he initially just did the animated sequences. Few directors have such an idiosyncratic and personal style, or such a visual flair, as evidenced in such films as "Brazil", "The Fisher King", "Twelve Monkeys" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" But, like most artists, he has a prickly streak, and does not suffer intrusions on his work by such irritants as producers and money-men gladly.


Image from the aborted
movie "Don Quixote"
Clashes with Miramax head honchos Bob and Harvey Weinstein (they have since sold their stake in the company) are rumoured to have marred the recent "The Brothers Grimm" production. And a couple of years ago lack of funds and sheer rotten luck scuppered his adaption of Cervantes' "Don Quixote", as documented in the biopic of the aborted project, "Lost In La Mancha".

His next project, according to an interview with the BBC, is a western, of a sort, "Anything for Billy", based on a book by Larry McMurtry, who also shares screenplay credit for favoured Oscar contender "Brokeback Mountain".
"It's one of Larry's best books. The difficulty is there's so much in it that we'd have to lose a lot to condense it into a movie."

As with another of his mooted projects - an adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel, Good Omens - the problem lies in raising enough money to do it justice.

"I want to put things on screen that are visually elaborate, but I'm getting tired of how complicated that is to do.

"Every few days you have to compromise just to keep the film going. You're constantly shifting, just to appease the money people."

Having suffered through more than his share of studio executives penny-pinching his films into oblivion, he finds it hard to sympathise with their anguished bleatings over how pirating of movies is driving them to the poor house.
"It's hard for me to worry about the studios losing money. I'm not very sympathetic to their money problems, because they certainly haven't been sympathetic to mine.

"When you look at one of their accounting sheets you realise you're never going to see a penny, so if someone wants to rip them off that's fine with me.

"If you're going to pirate, though, make sure the quality's good. Have some respect for what you're pirating!"

I can't imagine that statement exactly endears him to the fat cats in the film industry, though the BitTorrent crowd might be fine tuning their encoder settings as we speak.

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