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Author: Peter Marks

This book argues the centrality of hybridity to Terry Gilliam's films. Gilliam had a collaborative approach to filmmaking and a desire to provoke audiences to their own interpretations as other forms of intertextual practice. Placing Gilliam in the category of cinematic fantasist does some preliminary critical work, but crudely homogenises the diversity of his output. One way of marking this range comes from understanding that Gilliam employs an extraordinary variety of genres. These include medieval comedy; children's historical adventure; dystopian satire; the fantastic voyage; science fiction; Gonzo Journalism; fairy tale; and gothic horror. Gilliam's work with Monty Python assured him a revered place in the history of that medium in Britain. As a result, the Python films, And Now for Something Completely Different, The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, along with his own, Jabberwocky, Time Bandits, and Brazil, show him moving successfully into the British film industry. Most of his films have been adaptations of literary texts, and Jabberwocky forges an extended tale of monsters and market forces. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen builds on some tales from the original texts, constructing a complex examination of fantasy, representation and mortality. Taking crucial ingredients from medieval and older mythologies, the screenplay of The Fisher King resituates them and reworks them for modern America. Gilliam's complex interaction with Britain and America explains his ambiguous place in accounts of American and British films.

Peter Marks

performers were given opportunities to create shows. They were also allowed enormous artistic freedom on the content, structure and tone of these programmes. An essential element was the tradition of Oxford and Cambridge university student revues, in which all the British members of what would eventually become Monty Python’s Flying Circus performed. The most important early figures from this tradition were

in Terry Gilliam
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Peter Marks

filming of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989), an earlier expedition into the precarious world of European filmmaking. By 1988 Gilliam had lived in Britain for two decades, establishing himself as a central force in Monty Python’s Flying Circus , the most inventive and celebrated comedy troupe in British television. His work with Python assured him a revered place in the history of that

in Terry Gilliam
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Developments in post-alternative sketch comedy
Leon Hunt

your own, do yer?’). Nor has inconsistency harmed the series’ ‘classic’ status (a prestigious BBC 2 theme night in 1999, a cameo appearance by celebrity fan Johnny Depp) any more than it did the equally hit-and-miss Monty Python. Considering its popularity and longevity, the sketch show is under-theorized and critically neglected compared to sitcom – its conciseness and comparative lack of narrative or character complexity makes it harder to get to grips with. With some exceptions, it also seems to be regarded as the poor relation of sitcom. In a recent article

in Cult British TV comedy
A paradox
Sarah Salih

), uses it to construct a nonmimetic aesthetic. 21 The uncertain visual identity of the Middle Ages means that the period is resistant to many forms of realism. The anti-mimetic Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), in which various modes of the illusory medieval – chivalric glamour, earthy squalor, quotations of medieval forms – jostle with the rude interruptions of modernity, may be the paradigmatic

in Medieval film
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Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

conventions. However, it still contains important characteristics of the form which reappear in later mock-documentary texts. The Rutles (1978) The Rutles follows the parodic model of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus television series, 1 and it features both Python regulars and Saturday Night Live comics. The film uses the mock-documentary form to present the story of the Rutles, a detailed parody

in Faking it
Linguistic difference and cinematic medievalism
Carol O’Sullivan

translated (or improvised) in the foreign language, mirroring the fact that the preoccupations of medieval film – as with historical film in general – tend to be not the historical vicissitudes of the past but the narrative, representational and/or political concerns of the present. 28 ‘This outrageous accent’: Monty Python and the abusive subtitles Perhaps one of the most

in Medieval film
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Peter Marks

on seats) and of decay. King Bruno’s castle gives way to cramped and garish suburbia grimly oriented towards the television. In Brazil and Twelve Monkeys , televisions are channels for state or commercial propaganda. This might seem hypocritical given Gilliam’s history, but Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a form of anti-television, its parodies and absurdities a reaction against the

in Terry Gilliam
Mapping post-alternative comedy
Leon Hunt

or alienating others who didn’t ‘get’ it. Neale and Krutnik credit NAAFI comedians like Milligan (in particular) and Sellers with starting to deconstruct the conventions of traditional variety comedy (1990: 206). The third wave is what Wilmut calls the ‘university comedians’ (1980: xvii) – the ‘Oxbridge Mafia’ (Ibid.: xxii) would fuel both the ‘satire boom’ of the 1960s and the continuation of surreal British comedy via Monty Python’s Flying Circus (BBC 2 1969–74). Neale and Krutnik suggest that there was also a significant transformation in the audience for comedy

in Cult British TV comedy
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

/listeners. In this sense, the audience reception of the Welles broadcast leads directly to mock-documentary texts such as Forgotten Silver (1995) and Alien Abduction (1998), 4 which are both examples of media hoaxes (with Forgotten Silver being another interesting example of an apparently unintentional hoax which overestimated the sophistication of its audience). Television precursors Monty Python’s Flying

in Faking it