A PICTURE CAN SAY A THOUSAND WORDS, A MOVIE IS INFINITE

I personally think that this is Gilliam’s best film, despite the overwhelming awesomeness of Fear and Loathing, and I have been wanting to do a post like this for a while now. Shout out to Khalid, and also sati, both are are pretty damned awesome at this. I am am sure there are thousands that I have missed too. But… as an aspiring cinematographer (ha!), this is my perspective on Gilliam’s style and his best film, my personal favourite.

There no beautiful landscapes, which in my opinion, anyone could make look great. No, most of this movie is set indoors, and when it is outdoors the world of the movie is bleak.. To me, this is what separates Gilliam from everyone else, except for Kubrick.


As a amateur-photographer, I love films that place a heavy emphasis on how each scene is shot. Gilliam is notorious for treating each and every scene as if it were its own movie, and the documentary about 12 Monkeys shows this. Its title refers to a hamster wheel; an infamous scene where big Terry wasn’t happy until, in the background, a hamster was in the right place at the right time, running in its wheel.

This single anecdote sums up the man perfectly. All of his movies are a giant middle finger to the mainstream Hollywood merry-go-round; a style that hits my sweet spot when it comes to attitude about film in general.


12a

 

12b

 

12o

 

12zf

 

12c

 

12ze

 

12d

 

12f

 

12p

 

12h

 

12j

 

12l

 

12m

 

12n

 

 

12q

 

12r

 

12s


To be continued.

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40 Comments on “A PICTURE CAN SAY A THOUSAND WORDS, A MOVIE IS INFINITE

  1. Nice post Jordan. I too am a big fan of Gilliam’s work, both Python-related and otherwise, and 12 Monkeys is one of his finest works. His movies always resonate me; I didn’t initially like Brazil very much but now I think it’s Gilliam’s strongest film.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah its hard man, Fear and Loathing is brilliant too…. I love all his films really, hard to top this one though for me. It ticks all the right boxes for my taste.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I look forward to it as well Cindy. I’m gonna rewatch Brazil for the zillionth time, its been a while šŸ˜‰

      And I agree, that shot of the eyes is the best of the lot. For September I’d highly recommend checking out the documentary about this movie that I linked at the top of the post. That shot of the eyes wouldn’t have been as good as it is if Gilliam wasn’t so anal and perfectionist about everything about his movies.

      Like

      • Jordan, the co host for L13FC in August is unable. Would you be willing to step it up and co host with me August 13 ?????

        Like

      • Sure, though it’d have to be dependant on the subject matter, I may not be of any use. I’d love to do it though, what is the topic?

        Like

      • Oh! I misread the situation, I thought I was stepping in for the topic you’d chosen for August. Yes, lets get talking about the trilogy!! You have my email right? I’ve watched all three films recently, have you been able to watch any of them?

        I’ll knock up an email and start digging into the topic, and hopefully we get some good back and forth happening šŸ™‚

        Like

  2. Thanks for the mention man. What always gets me about Gilliam’s films is the idiosyncratic and insanely unique production design and the super unique camera movements. And I think Gilliam always finds unique ways to shoot his sets, I agree that great cinematography doesn’t always have to be shots of great landscapes, it just has to have the ability to tell the story in a profound and visually interesting way and this film and the shots you shared definitely do that.
    Can’t wait to see Part 2. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “tell the story in a profound and visually interesting way”

      Totally. When organising these pics I kinda thought, man these kind of tell the story themselves almost, they all look so unique visually

      And I’m with you about Gilliam. He has always been my favourite, his attitude, everything he has made I love, and its the sets and camera-work that really set him apart for me, I agree. That and his knack for humour, a nice skill to pick up from Monty Python!

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  3. I love this movie and it saddens me that studios are not using him for their features. For a remake of a foreign short (Lajatee.. I may have the spelling wrong) This was a very well directed movie and it gave us great performances from both Willis and Pitt. This is my favorite Gilliam followed by Tideland, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Monty Python and The Holy Grail

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think his attitude would never gel with studios, especially in today’s film-world. Have you seen that doco about this movie? It really shows how perfectionist the guy is, reminiscent of Kubrick a little.

      And I’m totally with you on Willis and Pitt. This movie showed the world that both of them had true acting chops. Tideland second huh? Hmmm I need to re-watch that one, I might do that this weekend šŸ˜€

      Like

  4. This is a great movie and those are some beautiful shots. Glad you put this together. Just an fyi, though the two movies are totally unrelated, Park Chan Wook’s Stoker from a few years ago is one of the most beautifully shot films of recent memory. Hell, that director’s entire filmography, at least the ones I’ve seen, is filled with gorgeous films. Looking forward to part 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Admittedly, this is probably my favorite Gilliam film. Overall I do feel like the movie could have been better, but it’s such a cult classic. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a film quite like it. Like you reiterated, the film had some fantastic shots. The ending was brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this movie is important for a lot of reasons. It showed the world what Pitt could do, it showed Willis had another side to him, and like you say, there isn’t another film quite like it. Dystopia and time travel. Nice mash up of genres eh! His best I agree, and it was the one that made me fall in love with the camerawork in his films. I dunno if he’s worked with one DP consistently or what, but his style is always there

      Like

  6. Great post Jordy, nice to see a Terry Gilliam movie up here! I love 12 Monkeys and Brazil too.

    They’re the kind of films that you think are for an acquired taste, but really, anyone should enjoy them if they sit back and enjoy the ride.

    Great selection of stills too!

    Emmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm’kay šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah Gilliam is my favourite director, easily. His movies are like vivid dreams brought to life. I mean, have you seen Time Bandits?? Fucking MENTAL. All his 80’s stuff is mental, that is why no one wanted to hire him. Then he made 12 Monkeys, it was a massive box-office hit, and no time travel movie has come close to how well it examines the psychological pain time travel might evoke. I just hope he still has another great film left in him

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do you like Monty Python as well?

        I’ve never seen Time Bandits, I’ll look it up now! Fucking MENTAL sounds great to me! His movies are very like vivid dreams brought to life, that’s a great analogy Jordy!!

        Do you know if he is planning on making any other movies? There’s not enough directors like him around!

        “mmmmmmmmmmmm’kay” šŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t actually seen any Monty Python. Which is pretty pathetic I know, I should change that, cos the humour in Gilliam’s films is so British and obviously influenced by his days with Monty Python. Especially Brazil, that film is funny as hell.

        I agree, there aren’t enough guys like this around. If you have the time, I really recommend that documentary I linked in this post. It really shows how unique a director he is.

        He last made The Zero Theorem, which I really enjoyed but it doesn’t come close to 12 Monkeys or Brazil. An entertaining watch though, I’ve seen it at least five times. Its one of those flicks that you want to figure out, so you watch it over and over.

        As far as I know his next project is his Don Quixote movie, which has been postponed a ton of times. It says 2017 on imdb but its been in the works for nearly a decade. I hope it gets made.

        The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is also a great 80’s Gilliam flick,. check that out, its more mental than Time Bandits

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah that’s okay! I don’t even like Monty Python anyway lol I just wondered because of Gilliam. I’d love to watch the documentary, it sounds really interesting, I will do thanks Jordy! I’m not very clued up on his movies anyway to be honest. I’ve only seen Fear and Loathing, 12 Monkeys and Brazil, though I do have all of those on DVD šŸ™‚ 12 Monkeys is my favourite but Brazil is a lot of fun.

        I do love films that you have to figure out! I’ll check out The Zero Theorem too šŸ™‚ it might not be your cup of tea but have you seen Primer? It’s an indie time travel movie, very geeky, it may interest you šŸ™‚

        Like

      • I thought you may have done šŸ™‚ and totally agree!! That’s why I’ve always loved low budget films, directors and writers, they do it from the heart. I’ve always said that the only thing a movie needs to be good, is a good story. Doesn’t matter about money, budgets or big name actors. Just needs a story!

        Like

      • It is one helluva trip, give it a shot! Family Guy ripped it off in an episode…

        “release the map! Release the map you have stolen!”

        Sound familiar? ;P

        Liked by 1 person

      • You know what it doesn’t and I’m usually so up on Family Guy!!! Which episode is it mmmmm’kay? šŸ™‚

        Like

      • Oh I have no idea, but its here. Its when Brian takes shrooms

        I’d google time bandits family guy, the episode number will be there somewhere

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Jordan! Great discussions over at Cindy’s blog! You made me want to rewatch this one now, it’s been ages since I saw it and boy the visuals look striking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You could honestly pick almost any scene from this movie, and it would look good or odd in some way. The story is also one that pretty much demands multiple viewings. Plus Willis and Pitt are sooooo good, hope you revisit it šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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