Terry’s All Told

SFX - - Reviews -

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.

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