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Dark Knights and Holy Fools: The Art and Films of Terry Gilliam: From Before Python to Beyond Fear and Loathing Paperback – July 16, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With Dark Knights and Holy Fools, film writer Bob McCabe has done a masterful job of depicting the evolution of a filmmaker and his vision. Terry Gilliam, of course, is the mind behind the bizarre and hilarious animations for Monty Python's Flying Circus, as well as the films Time Bandits, Brazil, and The Fisher King, among others. Using interviews with Gilliam and a few of his collaborators, McCabe takes readers on a chronological journey through the Python alum's work, going back as far as cartoons from his high school and college days. The book is gloriously stuffed with Gilliam's playfully wicked and distinctly rounded drawings--everything from political posters to stills from Python clips to pencilled storyboards for his films. The storyboards in particular are fascinating because they give insight into how Gilliam's mind works as he maps out his movies.

Dark Knights and Holy Fools also offers interesting glimpses at the inner workings of the film industry. McCabe chronicles Gilliam's well-publicized battles with studios over budgets, running lengths, and less-than-sunny endings, illustrating the frustrations of trying to push art through a bureaucracy (and, to a lesser extent, the frustrations of trying to reason with a visionary). Just as engrossing are the accounts of how ideas that don't quite fit into one film can materialize in another, and the amount of pure serendipity that went into some of the indelible images Gilliam has created. This is a lavish and thoughtful treatment of one of our most unpredictable modern directors. --Ali Davis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bob McCabe broadcasts on film for Radio 1 and is associate editor of 'Film Guide'. He contributes to 'Empire', and 'Q' magazines and has also contributed to 'Premier', 'Film Review', 'Evening Standard', 'Daily Mirror', 'The Express' and was film editor of 'Vox'. He is the author of the BFI book on 'The Exorcist'. Bob McCabe broadcasts on film for Radio 1 and is associate editor of Film Guide. He contributes to Empire and Q magazines and has also contributed to Evening Standard, Daily Mirror and Daily Express, and was film editor of Vox. He is the author of The Pythons by The Pythons and numerous other books, most recently the authorised biography of Ronnie Barker. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (July 16, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789302659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789302656
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.6 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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!
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By A Customer on February 25, 2000
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.
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By A Customer on October 12, 1999
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.
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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!
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