Terry Gilliam

Nate Parker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in "Beyond the Lights"; Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams in "The Fisher King"

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Beyond the Lights,’ ‘The Fisher King’

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We’ve seen some grim weeks for new releases in the half-year or so that this column has run, but never one quite like this — I mean, seriously, try to find a movie you’ve even heard of in this sad bunch. Luckily, the week’s not a total washout, thanks (as usual) to Netflix and Criterion; the former is debuting a gripping documentary, an earnest love story, and one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final films, while the latter gives us a Terry Gilliam classic and a German antiwar film that you probably haven’t seen, but should.
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Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, John Oliver, and John Cleese at the Tribeca Film Festival screening of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

“It Was a Miserable Experience!” Monty Python on Making ‘Holy Grail’ and Whether They Really Do Hate Each Other

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We heard them in the hallway, chattering and joking before the Friday afternoon press conference that launched Monty Python’s takeover of the Tribeca Film Festival’s second weekend. The festival folks were keeping the surviving members of the iconic British comedy troupe busy that weekend: after the press conference, they had a 40th anniversary screening of their classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail Friday night, a Saturday afternoon premiere of the new documentary Monty Python: The Meaning of Live (chronicling their smash reunion shows at the O2 arena last year), and revival screenings of The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. So in light of all that activity, the question that drifted into the room got a laugh: “What are we selling?” As did Eric Idle’s guess: “Ice cream? Cocoanut ice cream?” Or, as John Cleese would eloquently put it early in the press conference, “It’s very simple, it’s economic: Now that we’re no good any more, we’re trying to squeeze every last penny out of the days when we were able to do it.”
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12monkeys

Copy of a Copy: The Lowbrow Charm of Syfy’s ’12 Monkeys’

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What would the unfailingly modest Chris Marker (who died two years ago) have said about Syfy’s update of 12 Monkeys, the Terry Gilliam film that was itself an update of Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée? As an intellectual and aesthetic omnivore, a lover of art high and low, I’m certain that Marker would have enjoyed the new series, even though it barely acknowledges the existence of his film beyond the name of a single character (Aaron Marker, played by Noah Bean). “Certainly, for me 12 Monkeys is a magnificent film,” Marker told Libération in 2003, speaking of the Gilliam film, on which the series is exclusively based.
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Timothy Olyphant in "Go"

10 Offbeat Christmas Movies You Can Stream Online

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Thanksgiving is over, the last of the leftovers have been consumed, Black Friday has come and gone, and it’s just about time to start cueing up the Christmas movies. And, y’know, there’s something to be said for spinning the annual favorites — your Christmas Vacations, your Christmas Storys, your Wonderful Lifes, your Die Hards. But if you’re in the mood for something a little off-the-beaten-path (and don’t mind streaming somewhere other than Netflix), here are a few less predictable Christmas flicks.
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Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 5.23.09 PM

Are Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift Flirting? : Links You Need to See

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What better a way to avoid thinking about the fact that the Republicans overtook Congress (and, honestly, what better a way to be a good Democrat than to avoid thinking about such a thing, leading, possibly, to the next dreaded Republican victory?) than to stare at some funny and perhaps even informative (but decidedly unpolitical) shit from around the internet? I can’t think of anything. So here’s some funny and perhaps even informative but decidedly unpolitical shit from around the internet.
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Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in "The Shawshank Redemption"

10 Great Movies That Appear In 10 Other Great Movies

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There are all sorts of reasons to see Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (debuting this week on Blu-ray, via The Criterion Collection), but here’s the one that finally clinched it for me: when they go see it in Middle of Nowhere. By inserting the earlier film into a later one, Nowhere’s director, Ava DuVernay, isn’t just telling us something about the kind of people who inhabit her story; she’s also savvily commenting on the kind of story she’s telling. And she’s not the only filmmaker to employ this very clever trick.
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Still from "The Zero Theorem"

‘The Zero Theorem’ Is Terry Gilliam at His Gilliam-est

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The 2000s haven’t been so good to Terry Gilliam. He’s a filmmaker of singular style and distinctive vision, one whose pictures are immediately identifiable, and unmistakable for anyone else’s; he’s one of the few directors whose surname has become a description of its own, and “Gilliam-esque” demands as little explanation as “Hitchcockian” or “Fellini-esque” in movie geek circles. But after a run of jaw-dropping quality and unparalleled imagination in the 1980s and 1990s, his recent output has been uneven and problematic. Now there is a new Gilliam film, already available on demand and in theaters tomorrow; it’s called The Zero Theorem, and while it doesn’t match his previous masterpieces, it frequently manages to recapture the anti-authoritarian spirit and whirling dervish quality of his best work.
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