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The Cinema of Terry GilliamIt's a Mad World$
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Jeff Birkenstein, Anna Froula, and Karen Randell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165358

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165358.001.0001

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Fear and Loathing in Hollywood

Fear and Loathing in Hollywood

Looking at Terry Gilliam through a Wide-angle Lens

(p.1) Introduction Fear and Loathing in Hollywood
The Cinema of Terry Gilliam

Jeff Birkenstein

Anna Froula

Karen Randell

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter describes Terry Gilliam's cinematic work. For five decades, Gilliam has been a cartoonist, animator, comic, film auteur, social critic, and opera director. His ouvre is defined by his visual style as it expresses a political and social critique of the world he sees. He creates chaotic worlds for his characters to make sense of, and though they rarely do, the audience can find some use of their own world by sharing the chaos of the characters, and unravelling the complexities of the realities found there. In Gilliam's eyes, “the darkness is what makes the light more beautiful”, and he says, “a problem I see now in the modern world—particularly in America—is the perception of a world without struggle, a world where all our needs are taken care of”. This book offers a collection of critical chapters that engage in multiple approaches to reading Terry Gilliam's films.

Keywords:   Terry Gilliam, chaotic worlds, cinema, wide-angle lens

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