Time and meaning
in Terry Gilliam
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Terry Gilliam was keen to develop two very different projects, The Ministry and Theseus and the Minotaur, a proposal that would resurface several times in his career. By late 1979 Gilliam had Denis O'Brien's verbal backing for Time Bandits. Fantasy in Time Bandits is not an escape from reality, but a means of tapping into the realms that rationality has neglected, or replaced with a world mediated by the commercial media, ideology and tradition. Time Bandits marks the first of several films that feature children as protagonists or as critical observers of the actions and failings of adults. Time Bandits seems to function simply as the cinematic version of a Bildungsroman, a novel of development. Gilliam had teamed up with producer Arnon Milchan in his efforts to realise Brazil, which had been on hold since 1979.


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