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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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‘Won’t somebody please think of the children?’

‘Won’t somebody please think of the children?’

The Case for Terry Gilliam’s Tideland

(p.118) Chapter Nine ‘Won’t somebody please think of the children?’
The Cinema of Terry Gilliam

Kathryn A. Laity

Columbia University Press

This chapter tackles one of Terry Gilliam's least critically successful films, Tideland (2005), and considers some of the reasons for its unpopularity. The film follows the story of Jeliza-Rose, a child mostly on her own surrounded by her collection of doll heads and a handful of adults who lack any semblance of responsibility. While there are many horrific moments, in the latter part of the film, Gilliam teases his audience into a fury with the suggestion that an unacceptable sexual encounter is about to erupt between Jeliza-Rose and an adult. The genre of horror still maintains a strong conservative thrust, and the transgressive use of sexuality in Tideland unduly disturbs many critics and audience members. This horror genre style takes Gilliam away from his more quirky fantasy approach to the dark side of life.

Keywords:   Tideland, Jeliza-Rose, sexuality, horror genre, childhood innocence

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