Dreams News Bulletin 13: March 1999

Edited by Phil Stubbs

Exclusive to Dreams - Win one of FOUR signed copies of Gilliam on Gilliam, published in March by faber and faber - see below

In Dreams news bulletin 13...

  • Gilliam on Gilliam finally published
  • Other Gilliam book news
  • Fear and Loathing UK box office
  • Gilliam's travels
  • Python Reunion - latest
  • Gormenghast goes into production
  • DVD campaign and BBC digital ad
  • Gilliam on Time Travel

Gilliam on Gilliam finally published
Gilliam and Gilliam, a new book - in Terry Gilliam's own words - has been published by faber and faber, and should be available in all good bookshops from March 15.

Dreams has got together with faber and faber to give away FOUR signed hardback copies of Gilliam on Gilliam to plug the new book's publication. The books are currently in the clutches of the editor of Dreams as this is written at the end of February. He will take them to the Gilliam event in Manchester on 9 March where they hopefully will be signed by Gilliam and co-author Ian Christie themselves. To enter the competition, all you have to do is answer the following simple question:

  • Which actor was to play The King of The Moon in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen before the moon sequence was reduced in scale?

Send your answer (with email address or postal address) to Phil Stubbs [phil@dreams.u-net.com] by the end of April. The first four correct answers drawn out of a hat at the start of May will win a signed book. The editor's decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into. All sales are final. Void prohibited by law.

The book itself is an edited collection of conversations between Terry Gilliam and Ian Christie between 1996 and 1998. While a great deal of this book (as one would expect) covers ground that is published elsewhere, it contains a great deal of new information about Gilliam, charting his life from childhood to Fear and Loathing release and beyond. Very highly recommended by Dreams.

It will be available from all good bookshops, yet it can be ordered direct from the publishers at a discount. Normal price is £17-99, but is available from faber at £15-00 (price applies to UK only) including postage and packing. Call Clare Lawler at faber on +44 (0)171 465 7513, or alternatively email your name, address, credit card number and expiry date to clare.lawler@faber.co.uk

Gilliam is making several appearances in the UK to publicise the release of this book. One is in London on 1 March, at 6.30 at the Curzon Cinema, Shaftesbury Avenue, London. Film is being shown and then a Q&A with Ian Christie and Terry Gilliam. For tickets contact City Screen on +44 (0)171 734 4342.

A second is to take place in Manchester on 9 March. The event is to be held at The Whitworth Hall, Manchester, in conjunction with Waterstone's Deansgate at 7pm. Tickets cost £5 and include a £5 book voucher, the event and a drinks reception. To order tickets call the Waterstone's Art & Cinema Desk on +44 (0)161 837 3025. Signed copies of faber's Gilliam on Gilliam will be available for sale from Waterstone's Deansgate at RRP from 10 March onwards for a limited period only.

Other Gilliam book news

David Morgan, creator of the Terry Gilliam Files website, has written Monty Python Speaks (pictured above), which includes interviews with the five surviving members of Monty Python. Illustrated with rare backstage photographs (some never before published), MONTY PYTHON SPEAKS! is an incomparable first-person look into a beloved collective mind: the Pythons' meeting, their shared humor, their clashes, their struggles to maintain artistic control over their work, and most of all, spam!

Also expected in 1999 is Dark Knights and Holy Fools: The Art and Films of Terry Gilliam by Bob McCabe. And Gilliam wrote an introduction to Cages by Dave McKean, a hardback comic book that appeared in 1998.

Fear and Loathing UK box office
Alas, Fear and Loathing performed particularly badly in the UK - even compared to its release in the States. Despite earning some great reviews in the UK, the movie opened appearing 11th in the charts for its first weekend, grossing just over £200,000 ($300,000). It opened on 117 screens. Also opening at that weekend were Hope Floats (239 screens and £320,000), and Blade (313 screens and £1.6m). Number one for that weekend was Antz (386 screens, £1.8m for the weekend). The next week Fear and Loathing disappeared from the charts.

Gilliamís travels
In November, Gilliam visited the US to attend a retrospective in his home town Minneapolis. Dreams reader Mike Huspeni saw Gilliam at the first of his two appearances there. Mike saw a pristine freshly-struck print of Brazil, and a 40 minutes Q&A with Gilliam, at the Oak Street Cinema. The night after, Gilliam appeared at the Walker Art Center, and did a moderated Q&A with Stuart Klawans, a New York film critic. The poster of the Minneapolis event, below, was sent to Dreams by Thom Lange:

Following the Minneapolis event, Gilliam was in conversation with Ralph Steadman in front of an audience at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Some weeks later, in mid-December, Terry Gilliam attended the Havana Film Festival, accompanied by Francis Ford Coppola, the Coen brothers and Costa-Gavras. Locals, who get to see US fare during the rest of the year only irregularly, eagerly flocked to all American pictures, though (according to Variety) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas seemed to baffle them. Said Gilliam, "It shocked them into silence - the ugly American has arrived". As well as attending his premiere, Gilliam also gave a talk at the local fim school.

Python Reunion
From Eric Idle comes news of a possible future Python reunion. Idle writes, "Not quite dead, except for a bit. Official rumours. No tour. No movie. 4 in favour of movie (Cleese against). 3/4 in favour of tour (Palin against)."

Gormenghast goes into production
The Gormenghast trilogy, by Mervyn Peake, is going to be made into a BBC series to be shown in the year 2000. This is a project that Gilliam has considered on more than one occasion. Said Gilliam at the start of 1997:

"This is a project that has kept floating around, from the time of making Life of Brian, that I get close to and then it falls into someone else's hands. The original owner of the rights wanted Peter Sellers as Doctor Prunesquallor. At one point, Sting owned it, and every few years, I'd get a call: 'I've got the rights -what about...?' But I've lost interest because I've worked the film out in my head too often. Plus, it'd be hard to get the kind of money to do it well enough. Jabberwocky had a lot of Gormenghast things in it, so I've probably done it already."

Here are two sketches by designer Christopher Hobbs of sets for (i) Gertrude's blue room and (ii) her bedroom - for the forthcoming BBC series to be filmed at Shepperton Studios.

DVD campaign & BBC digital ad
On 22 October 1998, Gilliam appeared on BBC1ís Watchdog show highlighting problems with the marketing of DVD discs in the UK. Presently UK machines reject DVD discs purchased in America. Further, UK discs cost more than in the States, and offer fewer extra options.

Also in October, Gilliam starred with a host of other celebrities, such as Jeremy Irons, Michael Palin, Stephen Fry and Salman Rushdie in a BBC trailer extolling the benefits of broadcasting in a digital age. "With digital, I can see things as they really are", said Gilliam in the film, often repeated in the run up to Xmas 1998.

Time Travel
Terry Gilliam appeared on FilmFourís Time Travel night on 13 January 1999, presenting 12 Monkeys, The Hamster Factor and La Jetee. Details of what he said in the evening can be found on the 12 Monkeys page.

Contributions are welcome! If you wish to send letters, analysis, news or any information regarding Terry Gilliam and his work, then email me!
Hey readers! Thanks to everyone who has emailed me - keep in touch. To those who haven't, tell me what you think of Dreams. And let me know you've visited. Send your emails to me at phil@dreams.u-net.com

Dreams is stored by the witty, attractive and stylish people at Franklyn Press Multimedia, whose corporate HQ is situated in the glorious town of Macclesfield, Cheshire. These people know a thing or two about design, print and multimedia, so in the unlikely event that you have plenty of money to spend on design (regardless of media), give them a call.

Phil Stubbs - Wetherby, UK. February 1999.

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