Terry Gilliam

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Here are some animations of  Monty Pythons’s Terry Gilliam. The American born artist came to London in ’67. The only englishman he knew was John Cleese, who got him a job as animation artist for television. After a succeful first job. Gilliam was hired to sit in on a talk show called ‘We Have Ways of Making You Laugh’ an draw real-time caricatures of the guests.

A guest on one episode was a popular British DJ who was known for his rapid-fire, rhyming patter. As they began preparations for the show, one of the technicians came foreword with an audio recording. For several weeks he had been recording the DJ’s radio show, he then edited out everything except for the DJ’s speeches splicing them together, one after the next, to create a surreal monologue. Gilliam sensed there was something in this strange bit of audio and he went to Barclay with a desire to do something with it. It was decided that Gilliam would produce an animation with the tape as the soundtrack. There was though, very little money and nearly no time to do this in. Because of these restraints Gilliam was forced to work with found materials, mainly previously produced imagery.

He took images from magazines and old photographs, cut them up and stop-motion animated them. The result was a surreal strem of consciousness film that was the real start of the ‘Gilliam syle’.

click here to watch Stan van der Beek’s film ‘Death Breath’ (1964)

This style was born half out of necessity and half out of inspiration. When he was living in New York, he had the opportunity to see ‘Death Breath’ (1964, Stan van der Beek). This simple, short, stop-motion animation featured Richard Nixon, in photographic form, trying to talk with a foot in his mouth. The simplistic surrealness of it made a significant impact on Gilliam. (via digitalmediafx )

After and while his career with Monty Python he started making his own life action movies such as Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 12 Monkeys, …

Terry Gilliam Interview

Terry Gilliam’s Top Ten Animated Films:
Pinocchio – 1940
Red Hot Riding Hood – 1943
The Mascot – 1934
Out of the Inkwell – 1938
Death Breath – 1964
Les Jeux des Agnes – 1964
Dimensions of Dialogue – 1982
Street of Crocodiles – 1986
KinckKnack – 1989
South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut – 1999

Here are some samples … I really enjoy the soundeffects:

And here are two very fine sketches from the flying circus (no animation):

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