Terry’s All Told
released OUT NOW! 297 pages | Hardback/ Ebook
Author Terry Gilliam
Publisher Canongate Books
Terry Gilliam’s career is very well documented, so it’s probably wise that this “pre- posthumous memoir” doesn’t rake over old ground too much. Instead, it takes more of a scrapbook approach, interspersing the maverick director’s reminiscences with ephemera, from storyboards and sketchbook pages to childhood cartoons and Valentine’s card drawings, all accompanied by handwritten commentary. Judging by this, Gilliam rarely throws anything away – right down to an old receipt for a coat!
The pre- Python sections are particularly fascinating: precollege, Gilliam was surprisingly square. Later on there are great anecdotes about dealing with the likes of Marlon Brando and Hunter S Thompson, and interesting views on topics such as auteur theory, director’s cuts and wrangling actors.
Throughout, the tone of voice is amusingly self- deprecating and acerbic. And having turned that critical beam on himself he’s not averse to occasionally turning it on others, in entertainingly waspish fashion: Brothers Grimm producers the Weinsteins don’t emerge well, and Steven Spielberg is memorably skewered too. Ian Berriman
Gilliam plans to be buried in a cardboard coffin on an Italian hill, with an oak sapling planted in his chest.
The prePython sections are fascinating
Concept art for Gilliam’s 1977 fantasy Jabberwocky.
Thumbs up for Python back in the ’ 60s.