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Dark Knights and Holy Fools: the Art and Films of Terry Gilliam Paperback – 31 May 1999

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Paperback, 31 May 1999
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Universe Publishing (31 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789302659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789302656
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 1.5 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,547,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Peculiar beasts, Anglicised Americans. Terry Gilliam came to Britain to escape his illiberal homeland in 1967 on the arm of a girlfriend and ended up as an animator of peculiar beasts for a group of young British performers who became Monty Python's Flying Circus. After cutting his teeth on the group's feature films, the long-haired Young American in the fur jacket cast out on his own, making a series of innovative and uneasy films that established him as a director in his own right, from his interpretation of Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky" in 1977 to the self-described "cinematic enema for the 90s", Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The core of Bob McCabe's book is based on interviews with Gilliam, who is a master of candid self-observation. Where Ian Christie's Gilliam on Gilliam in the Faber Film series is a sober, mid-life contextualising of the artist's oeuvre, McCabe's book is a louder and more colourful cousin, crammed with stills and illustrations. It speaks highly of the director that both representations work; the biography remains essentially the same, and after the legendary struggles to release Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (the story of the former already covered by Jack Mathews' The Battle of Brazil), the anecdotal production detail is well-honed without losing any sparkle. McCabe, an experienced writer on cinema, clearly knows both his and Gilliam's onions, and his contention is that Gilliam remains essential to the modern film world as much for his uncompromising spikiness as his unquestioned vision and technical prowess, while exemplifying the hard graft needed to harness even the most powerful imagination.

That he is still kicking against the pricks and polarising opinion is testament to a funnily serious and urgent director, perhaps only now coming to the peak of a career for which this book serves as an enlightening and affectionate record to date. --David Vincent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The only fully authorised illustrated biography of the life and work of one of the most innovative filmmakers. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jun. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dark Knights and Holy Fools is an in-depth view of Terry Gilliam's work, from Occidental College's student magazine Fang, Harvey Kurtzman's magazine HELP!, through Monty Python to his dark and often gothic films such as Time Bandits, Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
This book contains the stories behind many of the films (although if you want the full version of the Brazil saga, you're better off reading The Battle for Brazil). Bob McCabe also talks to the man himself to get his take on what the films are really about. With storyboard pictures, behind the scenes shots, new artwork and old favourites, this book is a must for all Terry Gilliam (and Monty Python) fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Elliott on 4 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book, large and packed with interesting photos, showing what it must be like to work on a Terry Gilliam film. Never a dull moment - I bought this book for a friend, and was so engrossed in it, I had to buy a second copy, as I wanted one for myself! One not just for Gilliam fans, but those interested in the film making process too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 0 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is definitely THE book,about a very visual man!!(Not counting Gilliam's own "Animations of Mortality") Unlike all the other books,which want to psychoanalize Gilliam,his attitude toward Hollywood,and other cattle poop! This one talks about his work,has some great mini-interviews after each chapter,and has tons of little seen Terry Gilliam Art and Photos!! This is the type of book other so-called Python authors should've made!! Buy it for the ART...stay for the written words!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Strange goings on 26 Feb. 2000
By "abrand" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book does go into good detail of each of Gilliam's films, but I was left thinking that I wanted to know more on certain films. Now I want a making of book on each of his films! A bonus is the three chapters that mention the projects that he never got off the ground - as gilliam is famous for having problems with the studios. The major let down is the layout of the text. Still a good read - and a great colectable for Gilliam fans.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb! 12 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gilliam fans, cinema fans -- you need this book. It's about time Gilliam's cinematic canon was given the attention and credit it's (over)due. Fans of Gilliam's films, as well as Python fans, will enjoy the added insight from these fresh accounts of Terry G's history, and anyone who appreciates intelligent, imaginative filmmaking owes it to themself to become more familiar with Gilliam's ideas, creative processes, and the extensive canvas of his work through this book. Despite occasional poor book design (text placed over obscure images is cumbersome to read) and a shameful dearth of captions indicating what many of the illustrations are, McCabe presents an outstanding, well-balanced and accessible account of the life, times, battles and triumphs of one the precious few original and visionary artistic minds of our era. My only complaint about this book is it's too short. Thank you, Terry, for sharing this with us.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Gilliam companion! 20 Mar. 2003
By Benjamin Denes - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the perfect book for Terry Gilliam fans. It traces his history as an animator and director through the early years, into the Monty Python legacy and all the way to his feature films. This book is filled with color pictures from all of his projects, and even discusses some of the projects that never got off the ground. Very informative, but dated as this book came out right after the release of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. Still, a great book if you truly enjoyed this innovative directors work!
A Fantastic, colorful showcase of the art & film of Gilliam 28 Jan. 2002
By David L. White - Published on
Format: Paperback
A fantastic art book about the work of Terry Gilliam. Some of his art has been reprinted elsewhere, but never in large format and never, in many cases, in full color. It is quite thourough, for what it is. The text and Bob McCabe's interviews give the reader the facts about what is being covered in each chapter. However, the artwork is the star of this book. If you want to know about Terry Gilliam, the artist, then this is the book for you. As Gilliam says in his intro 'you can write about them (the movies) all you want but these movies are basically there to be seen.'
If you want to know about Terry Gilliam in detail, then the book Gilliam on Gilliam, which is basically a book length interview with Gilliam, is the book for you. I think the books compliment each other nicely: 'Gilliam on Gilliam' for everything you could possibly want to know about Terry Gilliam and 'Dark Knights & Holy Fools' for Terry Gilliam's quirky, beautiful, humorous art.
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