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Terry Gilliam is a filmmaker and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. His hit films include 12 Monkeys and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
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Born in 1940, Terry Gilliam grew up in Minnesota and moved to California in his early teens. In 1962, Gilliam graduated from Occidental College with a degree in political science. He moved to England in 1967. From 1969 to 1974, Gilliam worked on the British comedy television series Monty Python's Flying Circus. He went on to work in film, directing such imaginative adventures as Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkeys (1995),
"The population might be having a wonderful time, buying iPods and going to nice restaurants, but I still feel they're all kind of under control. I'm trying to escape that by forming my own kind of world."
"I just do what I do. Things take me over, then I want to get them out of my system. My films are exorcisms, auto-exorcisms!"
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The Brothers Grimm (2005) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).
Born Terrence Vance Gilliam on November 22, 1940, in Medicine Lake, Minnesota, Terry Gilliam first rose to fame as part of the comedy ensemble Monty Python. He has gone on to have a substantial second career as a director. He spent his early years having "a Tom Sawyer kind of childhood," he explained to Mother Jones magazine. "We didn't have a television, and my dad was a carpenter, so we were always making things, whether it be a tree house or drawing something or building an igloo."
In his early teens, Gilliam moved with his family to the Los Angeles area. He attended Birmingham High School in Lake Balboa, California. In 1958, Gilliam enrolled at Occidental College. He graduated with a degree in political science in 1962.
Terry Gilliam moved to England in 1967. Before long, he landed a job with the children's TV series Do Not Adjust Your Set. Gilliam did animated segments for the show. He then took on a more adult program when he joined Monty Python's Flying Circus. This offbeat sketch show featured John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle. He was the only American among the cast. For the program, Gilliam was given full creative license to develop animated shorts.
After their TV series ended, the Monty Python troupe moved to film. In 1975, Gilliam co-directed their first big-screen effort, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He also made his solo directorial debut around this time, working with Michael Palin on Jabberocky, based on a poem by Lewis Carroll; Gilliam also wrote the screenplay for the film. While this effort proved to be a commercial and critical disappointment, Gillam fared much better with his next project, Time Bandits (1981), a fantasy adventure that proved to be a hit with audiences.
Two years later, Gilliam made his last film with his famous comedy group, Monty Python and the Meaning of Life, and went on to work on one of his most acclaimed films to date.
Gilliam directed and co-wrote Brazil (1985), a dark satire starring Jonathan Pryce; the film tells a futuristic tale of a world where everyone and everything in bogged down by bureaucracy. Before its release, the director waged a public battle with his film studio to ensure that his version of the movie made it into theaters. Some studio executives wanted to shorten the film and change its ending.
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Following the "Swinging London" era of the 1960s, a new group of cultural icons arose. The 1970s saw the emergence of the punk rock movement, built upon the wave of psychedelic and folk rock music introduced in the '60s. In the post-hippie era of the early '70s, rock 'n' roll had a new glam image, pioneered by outrageously dressed rockers like David Bowie and Marc Bolan. Soon other acts followed, most notably young performers like Siouxsie Sioux and groups like T.Rex and The Clash. The music of the '70s inspired fashion as well, in particular designer Vivienne Westwood, whose punk designs for the Sex Pistols helped define the decade's London style. Biography.com looks at the various icons who defined London in the '70s.
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