Dreams News Bulletin 15: September 1999Edited by Phil Stubbs
In Dreams Bulletin 15...
New Gilliam animations for Python Night
Terry Gilliam has created some new animation material for the forthcoming Python Night, it has been revealed. The Python Night, which will last four hours, has been assembled to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first broadcast of Monty Pythonís Flying Circus on BBC television. The special selection of programmes will be broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday 9 October 1999, and will feature new material from the Monty Python team.
Alas, the new material does not appear to include all five of the remaining Python group members. On the Clive Anderson show on BBC1 on 2 September, Eric Idle revealed that while he was taking part in a new documentary, he was not taking part in the new material that was being produced. Following the broadcast of the Python Night, the BBC will show five episodes of Monty Pythonís Flying Circus from 11 to 15 October, as selected by the five members of Monty Python. Also, Monty Pythonís Life of Brian is to be shown as part of the Python season.
Python Night - Preview
Starting with a series of new sketches written, directed and performed by the Pythons themselves, Python Night presents a major new documentary, It's: The Monty Python Story about the hugely influential careers of the six Pythons. Helping viewers through the prolific and varied pre- and post-Python years will be host and presenter, Eddie Izzard. To illustrate the story graphic artist Pete Frame, creator of Rock Family Trees, uses Terry Gilliam's graphics to produce a mammoth Monty Python Family Tree.
Sir David Frost and Ronnie Corbett talk about the early television work of the soon-to-be Pythons on shows like the ground-breaking Frost Report, At Last the 1948 Show and the ever- popular teen show Do Not Adjust Your Set. Comedian Frank Skinner remembers late nights in the early 70's spent watching episodes of Flying Circus while Robin Williams, Kevin Kline and Steve Martin discuss more recent collaborations with Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and John Cleese including A Fish Called Wanda and Baron Munchausen.
Python Night explores the Pythons' contribution to the world of music with From Spam to Sperm: Monty Python's Greatest Hits, in which avid Python fan Meat Loaf presents gems from the Python back catalogue, ranging from the banality of The Spam Song to the profundity of Every Sperm is Sacred. The Pythons discuss their favourites, analyse their musical talents and reveal the inspiration behind such greats as The Lumberjack Song, Sit on My Face, and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. There's also a rare chance to see the best of their live performances and clips from Flying Circus and Python feature films. Plus a couple of surprise guest appearances ....
Later in the evening Michael Palin leads a journey into Pythonland in search of the locations where many of the best known Flying Circus sketches were shot. In the unglamorous back streets of West London he finds the newsagent where John Cleese began Silly Walks; the High Street which was once terrorised by Hell's Grannies and the suburban house in Barnes in which the Seduced Milkmen were captured. Placing Monty Python commemorative plaques as he goes, he returns to the location of his favourite sketch and finds the very spot where he first crawled out of the sea to announce a new era in comedy with the unforgettable....'It's'.
Python novices and aficionados alike will be intrigued by Lost Python, a rare gem recently rediscovered in the television archives. The Pythons' ten minute contribution to this 1971 pan-European May Day broadcast introduced the rest of the world to the little-known British customs of Nun Boiling in Doncaster and the Spring Dance of the City Stockbrokers.
Liberally sprinkled with grave insults and gushing tributes paid to the Pythons by celebrities and stars, Python Night ushers in a week of favourite Python programmes and rare screenings of their most important feature films.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote - a Progress Report
Gilliam secured full financing for the project earlier this year, yet sources reveal that half of the financing dropped out this summer. Consequently, Gilliam is after extra cash, and is hoping to start shooting the project in Spring next year. Incidentally, there are four other Don Quixote-related projects in development, pre-production or production at the moment.
Gilliam visits the States to Plug Dark Knights and Holy Fools
Dark Knights and Holy Fools
The book signing was great. I don't think it was publicized too much, it was touch and go because of the availability of the books. I heard Terry was on WNEW (NYC rock station) the Tuesday before the signing and said he'd be at Rizzoli's. There was a big crowd, though. The signing didn't end until about 9:45.
Terry Gilliam entered the room at about 7:50pm (he also had an earlier book signing at another Rizzoli's uptown) and announced to everyone on line that he had to pee and (winking) asked if any of us wanted to join him. None of us wanted to lose our place on line, so we declined. Group pissing was clearly not a part of the program.
He returned and I noticed he was wearing the white jacket with brown pinstripes Robin Williams wore in The Fisher King. I didn't get to say much to him, but only because my mind blanked out a bit. I did remember to tell him my name, though. He was very friendly and even posed for pictures (I was able to snap a few). He was taking resumes and answering questions, so I was glad it wasn't mobbed with autograph hounds. All the true fans showed up. I was impressed by how down to earth and accessible he was. Nobody was rushed through and everybody was able to speak with him. People were bringing up old Python books and records, as well as memorabilia from Terry's own films for him to sign.
The book itself is excellent. It covers his complete works, and even though I read almost everything there is on Python, this book did have some new information. Plus it's a wonderful book to skim through because it has a huge amount of personal photos and artwork outside of Python, plus some of his own personal poster designs for his own pictures. As for his own films, each one is covered thoroughly, even Jabberwocky. I'd say it's an excellent companion piece to Gilliam on Gilliam, another great book.
Terry Gilliam with writer Bob McCabe
Gilliam has also made appearances in London (Cinema Store 29 July 1999) and Edinburgh (Book Festival 28 Aug 1999) to plug the book. Gilliamís Edinburgh appearance was just two blocks away from the Dreams HQ, but unfortunately I was at a wedding at the South of England on that day.
Dark Knights and Holy Fools reveals new unresolved Gilliam projects
Anything for Billy
Gilliam tv appearances
deadmanjones: "Gilliam said he is trying to get to grips with a computer program that will essentially do cut out animation for him, in the same way South Park is assembled. The Big Breakfast is hardly the place for in-depth discussions, but he did reveal that the funding for Quixote is currently a little precarious, in fact I think he said he was off to a meeting later that morning, and that he would be putting Quixote together hopefully in the Spring."
Gilliam: "Very briefly - The Man Who Killed Don Quixote; the money's just fallen apart; I'm doing a commercial this morning and I've got to leave very shortly because my career is over - I was not joking about that. But we will be doing it in the springtime."
It was right at the end of the "interview" and he had to talk very quickly, but I guess he means that they're scheduled to make it in the spring...
Further, on Monday 13 September 1999, Terry Gilliam appeared on the Ruby chatshow, chatting entertainingly with Eddie Izzard and host Ruby Wax, but with no information about what he's working on.
Terry Gilliamís Favourite Villains
Procrustes the Innkeeper
The Wicked Queen in Walt Disney's Snow White
The Phantom of the Opera
Shere Khan from Walt Disney's Jungle Book
The Villains in Dick Tracy
Signed Copies of Gilliam on Gilliam and Dark Knights and Holy Fools available from Manchester Waterstones
Dreams on television
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Phil Stubbs, Edinburgh, September 1999.