Icarus File No. 6: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (dir by Terry Gilliam)


For many years, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was a film best known for not having been made.

In the past, we’ve used the Icarus Files as a way to write about filmmakers who flew too close to the sun of their own ambition and who plunged down to the sea as a result.  However, in the case of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the sun is not director Terry Gilliam’s ambition.  Instead, the sun is a combination of shady financiers, natural disasters, and film industry silliness that seemed to all conspire to keep Gilliam from making his film.  And yet, unlike the real Icarus, Gilliam insisted on continuing to fly, regardless of how many times he crashed into the ocean.

Terry Gilliam first started to talk about adapting Migel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote into a film in the late 80s.  The tale of a Spanish nobleman who becomes convinced that he’s fighting giants when he’s actually only jousting with windmills, Don Quixote sounded like an obvious project for Gilliam.  Gilliam’s films have always dealt with the power and importance of imagination.  However, it’s often forgotten that Gilliam’s protagonists are often both saved and eventually destroyed by fantasy.  (One need only think about the end of Time Bandits, in which the young main character goes on the journey of a lifetime but then watches as his parents blow up in front of him.)  It’s easy to forget that Don Quixote dies at the end of Cervantes’s tale, having regained his sanity and having announced that his niece will be disinherited if she marries a man who has ever read a book about chivalry. 

From 1990 to 1997, Gilliam started pre-production on his version of Don Quixote several times, just for the production to be canceled.  Sometimes, this was due to Gilliam not being able to get the budget that he felt would be necessary to bring his vision to life.  Frustrated with the Hollywood studio system, Gilliam wanted to raise the money for and make his movie in Europe but this turned out to lead to a whole new set of financial and regulatory complications.

Filming finally started on the film in 2000, with Jean Rochefort playing a former film actor who thinks that he’s Don Quixote and Johnny Depp playing the director who fills the role of Sancho Panza.  Unfortunately, as shown in the poignant documentary Lost in La Mancha, the production seemed to be almost cursed from the start.  The footage from the first day of shooting was unusable, due to planes flying overhead.  The 2nd day of shooting was ruined by a flash flood that swept away much of the set.  Jean Rochefort injured himself and, despite his best efforts to act through the pain, he had to step away from the role.  Filming was suspended in 2000 and, for the next 16 years, Gilliam tried to find a way to get the stalled film started up again.  Many actors came and went, including Robert Duvall and, most promisingly, John Hurt.  Hurt agreed to play the role of Quixote but, just when it seemed that the film was finally going to go into production, Hurt passed away from pancreatic cancer.  A few months later, the original Quixote, Jean Rochefort, also passed away.  The film went back into limbo.

Finally, in 2016, a producer named Paulo Branco offered to fund the film.  Pre-production started up again, this time with Adam Driver in the Sancho Panza role and Michael Palin playing Quixote.  However, the project was soon once again stalled, as Branco wanted creative control of the film.  When Branco slashed both the budget of the film and Palin’s already reduced salary, Gilliam denounced Branco’s actions.  Branco suspended production but, by this point, Gilliam had already hooked up with another set of producers.  Jonathan Pryce replaced Michael Palin as Don Quixote and, finally, Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was filmed!

Once filming was complete, however, Paulo Branco popped up yet again.  Claiming that he owned the rights to the story and not Terry Gilliam, he sued to keep the film from being distributed.  The courts ruled in Branco’s favor but Gilliam countered that he hadn’t used one frame of footage that had been shot while Branco was serving as producer and that, while Branco had the rights to his version of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, he did not have the rights to Gilliam’s.  While the lawyers argued, Amazon Studios withdrew from an agreement to distribute the film.  Once the case was finally settled, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was finally given a haphazard release in a few countries, often in edited form.

And that’s a shame because The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a delight.  It’s a film that is both playful and snarky, a celebration of imagination that also serves as a satire of Hollywood narcissism.  Adam Driver plays Toby Grummett, a director who returns to a Spanish village to direct an big-budget, epic adaptation of Don Quixote.  Ten years earlier, as a student filmmaker, Grummett shot a previous adaptation of Don Quixote in the same village.  When he tracks down the old shoemaker (Jonathan Pryce), who starred in his student film, he discovers that the shoemaker thinks that he is Quixote and that he’s become something of a tourist attraction.

And from there, the film follows Don Quixote as he takes Toby on a quest to fight giants and protect the helpless and to live a life of chilvary.  Along the way, Toby finds himself getting caught up in Quixote’s elaborate fantasy world.  It leads to a lot of comedy but there’s also something rather poignant about the old shoemaker’s attempts to be a hero and Toby rediscovering the love of fantasy and the imagination that he had when he was a film student.  And yet, it would be a mistake to assume that this film is simply a light-hearted fantasy.  The laughs are tinged with melancholy.  The enemies that Quixote and Toby meet are not just imaginary giants.  This a film that mixes comedy and tragedy in a way that few other films have the courage to do so.

As is typical with Gilliam’s later films, it bites off a bit more than it can chew but it’s still hard not to get caught up in it.  Driver and Pryce are both wonderfully cast and the film’s satire of the film business carries a sting to it.  Watching the film, it becomes apparent that Gilliam sees himself as being both Quixote and Toby.  The film’s ending seems to be Gilliam’s defiant message that he will always choose to fight the giants.

Previous Icarus Files:

  1. Cloud Atlas
  2. Maximum Overdrive
  3. Glass
  4. Captive State
  5. Mother!

The Unnominated: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (dir by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones)


Though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences claim that the Oscars honor the best of the year, we all know that there are always worthy films and performances that end up getting overlooked.  Sometimes, it’s because the competition too fierce.  Sometimes, it’s because the film itself was too controversial.  Often, it’s just a case of a film’s quality not being fully recognized until years after its initial released.  This series of reviews takes a look at the films and performances that should have been nominated but were,for whatever reason, overlooked.  These are the Unnominated.

Really, Academy?

No nominations for one of the most influential and widely-quoted films ever to be released?

Well, actually, I get it.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail was first released in 1975 and 1975 was an unusually good year for cinema.  Back in the 70s, of course, the Academy only nominated five films for Best Picture and, as a result, a lot of good films were not nominated that year.  There just wasn’t room for them.  Check out the five films that were nominated and ask yourself which one you would drop to make room for a different nominee.

Would you drop:

Barry Lyndon, which was directed by Stanley Kubrick was considered to be the most realistic recreation of the 18th Century to ever be captured on film,

Dog Day Afternoon, in which director Sidney Lumet brilliantly mixed comedy and drama and which featured wonderful performances from Al Pacino, John Cazale, Chris Sarandon, and Charles Durning,

Jaws, the Steven Spielberg-directed hit that changed the face of Hollywood,

Nashville, Robert Altman’s sprawling and ambitious portrait of a country tying to find itself after a decade of trauma,

or

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, in which Milos Forman paid tribute to individual freedom and Jack Nicholson gave perhaps the best performance of his legendary career?

I mean, those are five great films.  Even the weakest of the nominees (which, in this case, I think would be the eventual winner, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) is still stronger than the average Best Picture nominee.

So, I can understand why there wasn’t room for an episodic and rather anarchistic British comedy, one that largely existed to parody the type of epic and period filmmaking that the Academy tended to honor.  If there had been ten nominees in 1975 and Monty Python and the Holy Grail had been snubbed to make room for something like The Other Side of the Mountain, my feelings might be different but there weren’t.

That said, even if there wasn’t room in the Best Picture slate, what to make of the lack of nominations for a script that is so full of quotable lines and memorable incidents that even people who haven’t seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail are familiar with them?  No nominations for the costumes, the production design, or the cinematography, all of which are surprisingly good for a low-budget film that was directed by not one but two untested neophyte directors?  No nominations for the thrilling music or the Camelot song?  How about a special award for the killer rabbit?

How about at least a best actor nomination for Graham Chapman, who played King Arthur not as a comedic buffoon but instead as being well-intentioned but also increasingly frustrated by the fact that his subjects cared not about his quest or his royal title?  Though 1975 may have been a strong year for movies, it appears that the Academy still struggled to find five best actor nominees and they resorted to giving a nomination for James Whitmore’s performance as Harry Truman in a filmed version of his one-man stage show, Give ‘Em Hell Harry.  Nothing against James Whitmore or Harry Truman but I think we all know that spot belonged to Graham Chapman and his performance as King Arthur.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is often described as being a satire of the Arthurian legends.  I think, even more than being a film about King Arthur, it’s a film about a group of people trying to make an epic despite not having the resources or the patience to do so.  Python humor has always featured characters who were both foolishly confident and stubbornly aggressive and both of those traits are on wide display in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  The production can’t afford horses so Arthur and his knights hit two coconuts together to duplicate the sound of the hooves on the ground and when they’re confronted about it, they attempt to change the subject.  Can’t afford to shoot in a real castle?  Simply declare Camelot to be a silly place and walk away.  Can’t afford to get permits to film on a certain location? Film illegally and run the risk of getting arrested just when you’re about to start the film’s climatic battle scene.  Can’t afford to hire God for a cameo?  Use a cut-out.  Can’t afford a real knight?  Just hire some people who get carried away and then hope one of them doesn’t kill the local academic who has shown up to explain the film’s historical context.

“I just get carried away,” John Cleese’s Lancelot says more than once and he has a point.  But the entire movie is about people getting carried away.  The Black Knight is so carried away in his belief in himself that he continues to fight despite having neither arms nor legs.  The villagers are so carried away in their desire to burn a witch that they cheer when it’s discovered that she weighs the same amount as a duck.  (“It’s a fair cop,” the witch, played by Connie Booth, admits.)  Eric Idle’s Sir Robin is so carried away in his ability to answer questions that he doesn’t consider that he might be asked about the capitol of Assyria.  The Knights of the Round Table as so carried away in their dancing and their singing that no one wants to go to the castle.  Even the film’s animator gets carried away, suffering a heart attack and saving Arthur and his surviving knights from a fate worse than death.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a very funny film, of course.  We all know that.  (I once read a story about a woman who, having learned she only had a few weeks to live, decided to watch this film everyday until she passed.  I don’t blame her.)  But what I truly love about this film is that, in scene-after-scene, you can literally see the Pythons realizing that they were actually capable of making a real movie.  Michael Palin, especially, seems to be having so much fun playing the eternally pure Sir Galahad that it’s impossible not to get caught up in his happiness.  There’s a joie de vivre that runs through Monty Python and the Holy Grail, even at its darkest and most cynical.  The Pythons are having fun and it’s impossible not to have fun with him.

And, while the Oscars may have snubbed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Tonys did not.  When the film was later turned into Spamalot, it received 14 Tony nominations and won three.

Previous entries in The Unnominated:

  1. Auto Focus 
  2. Star 80

Cleaning Out The DVR: And Now For Something Completely Different (dir by Ian MacNaughton and Terry Gilliam)


A tall, dark-haired British man sits behind a desk that is rather oddly sitting in the middle of a field.  He wears a dark suit and he looks quite serious as he says, “And now, for something completely different….”

Cut to a short film about a man with a tape recorder up his nose, followed by another short film about man who has a tape recorder up his brother’s nose.

A Hungarian man tries to buy cigarettes while using an inaccurate English phrasebook.  The publisher of the phrasebook is later brought before the court.

Poor old Arthur Pewty goes to marriage counseling and can only watch impotently as the counselor seduces his wife.  Having filed to stand up for himself, Pewty is crushed by 16-ton weight.

A self-defense instructor teaches his students how to defend themselves when they are attacked by a man with a banana.

A loquacious man in a pub says “nude nudge” and “wink wink” until his drinking companion is finally forced to slam down his drink.

A man who sees double recruits a mountaineer to climb the two peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Hopefully, they’ll be able to find last year’s expedition, which was planning on building a bridge between the two peaks.

There’s bizarre, almost Dadaist animation, featuring classic works of art interacting with cartoonish cut-outs.

Uncle Sam appears to explain how communism is like tooth decay.  A toothpase commercial explains how taking care of your teeth is like racing a car.  A motor oil company shows how it can destroy darkness and grim.

A prince dies of cancer but the spot on his face flourishes until it falls in love and moves into a housing development.

A man tries to return a dead pigeon.  The store clerk insists the pigeon is merely stunned and then sings about wanting to be a lumberjack.

A general complains that things have gotten much too silly.

The narrator appears randomly, announcing, “And now for something completely different….”

Okay, okay, you get the idea.  First released in 1971, And Now For Something Completely Different was the first film to be made featuring all of the members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  It was their initial attempt to break into the American market, a collection of surreal sketches that they had previously performed on television for the BBC.  Unfortunately, at the time, no one in America really knew who Monty Python was and the film failed at the box office, to the extent that many in the UK advised against Monty Python even allowing their program to later air on PBS because it was felt that Americans just wouldn’t get it.  Of course, Americans did eventually get it.  The show remains popular to this very day.  Countless Americans are convinced that they can speak in a perfectly convincing British accent, as long as they’re quoting a line from Monty Python.  The previous 4th of July, when the town band played John Philip Sousa’s Liberty Bell, I saw hundreds of people stamping down their feet at the end of it.  As for And Now For Something Completely Different, it was re-released in 1974 and became a bit of a cult favorite in the States.

That said, the members of Monty Python were never particularly happy with the film.  They were convinced to make the film by Victor Lownes, who was the head of Playboy’s UK operation.  Lownes, however, alienated the members of the group by trying to exert control over the material.  He particularly objected to the character of Ken Shabby, a perv who probably had a stash of sticky Playboys back at this flat.  Lownes also put up very little money for the production, meaning that the Pythons had to resort to shooting the film, without an audience, in a deserted factory.  Apparently, even the deliberately cheap-looking special effects of the television show were considered to be too expensive to recreate for the film.  Michael Palin and Terry Jones both later complained that the film itself was series of scenes featuring people telling jokes while sitting behind desks.

Of course, Lownes’s biggest sin was trying to insinuate that he was somehow the Seventh Python.  (One can only imagine how many people were guilty of the sin over the years.  Claiming to be the Seventh Python was probably a bit like claiming to be the Fifth Beatle.)  When Terry Gilliam was animating the film’s opening credits, the names of the cast were shown in blocks of stone.  Lownes insisted that his name by listed the same way.  Gilliam reluctantly acquiesced but then redid the names of the Pythons so that they were no longer in stone.  Fortunately, Victor Lownes would not involved in the subsequent Python films.

All that said, there’s no denying that And Now For Something Completely Different is a funny movie.  I mean, it’s Monty Python.  It’s John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, all youthful and at the heights of their considerable comedic talents.  Even if all of the sketches are familiar from the show, they’re still funny and it’s impossible not to enjoy discovering the way that the movie threads them together.  (Combining the Lumberjack song with the dead parrot sketch worked out brilliantly.  “What about my bloody parrot!?” Cleese is heard to shout as Palin walks through the forests of British Columbia.)  Personally, my favorite Python is Eric Idle but I also love any sketch that involves Michael Palin getting on John Cleese’s nerves.  Everyone knows the dead parrot sketch, of course.  But I also like the vocational guidance counselor sketch.  It’s hard not to get caught up in Palin’s excitement as he discusses his lion tamer’s hat.  Almost as wonderful as Palin’s turn as Herbert Anchovy, accountant was Michael Palin’s turn as the smarmy host of Blackmail.  Actually, maybe Michael Palin is my favorite Python.  I guess it’s a tie between him and Eric.

And Now For Something Different has been on my DVR for quite some time.  I’ve watched it several times.  I’m not planning on deleting it any time soon.

6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 1980s


Rob Lowe and Snow White perform at the 1989 Oscars

Continuing our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 1980s.

Out of the Blue (1980, dir by Dennis Hopper)

After spending several years in the cultural wilderness, Dennis Hopper directed his best film, this downbeat study of a young girl, her junkie mother, and her irresponsible father.  From the film’s first scene, in which Hopper crashes his truck into a school bus to the film’s explosive ending, Out of the Blue is a fascinating trip into the heart of American darkness.  It was definitely too dark for the Academy.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982, dir by Amy Heckerling)

Fast Times would appear to take place in a totally different universe from Out of the Blue.  Still, it’s an unexpectedly intelligent look at growing up in the suburbs and it’s influenced practically every high school film that’s come after.  Plus, this may be the only movie in which Sean Penn was intentionally funny.  Despite good reviews and a cast full of future stars, Fast Times At Ridgemont High received not a single nomination.

Once Upon A Time In America (1984, dir by Sergio Leone)

Sergio Leone’s final film, this epic gangster film might be a look at how America grew and changed over the first half of the 20th Century.  It might be a trenchant critique of capitalism.  It might be an homage to the classic gangster films of the 30s.  Or it might just be a hallucination that Robert De Niro is having while visiting an opium den.  That critics are are still debating just watch exactly this film actually means says a lot about the power of Once Upon A Time In America.  However, because the film was originally released in a severely edited form, Once Upon A Time In America received not one nomination.

Brazil (1985, dir by Terry Gilliam)

Much like Once Upon A Time In America, Brazil is a brilliant film that was betrayed by the studio that distributed it.  Convinced that Terry Gilliam’s satire was too strange for American audiences, Universal Pictures initially released the film in a severely edited version.  Fortunately, Gilliam’s version was eventually released but the controversy undoubtedly hurt Brazil when it came time for the members of the Academy to select their nominees for Best Picture.

The Breakfast Club (1985, dir by John Hughes)

Perhaps the Academy understood just how unfair it was that Anthony Michael Hall had to write the essay while everyone else got either a makeover or a new romance.  For whatever reason, this classic high school film — perhaps the classic high school film — received not a single nomination.

Blue Velvet (1986, dir by David Lynch)

David Lynch was nominated for Best Director but the film itself proved to be just a bit too controversial for the Academy to give it a Best Picture nomination.  David Lynch described this film as being “the Hardy Boys In Hell” and it would have been an uncoventional, though very worthy, nominee for Best Picture.

Up next, in an hour or so, the 90s!

 

Here’s The French Trailer For The Man Who Killed Don Quixote!


It took a while but Terry Gilliam has finally made his Don Quixote film.

How long is a while?  Try 19 years.  That’s right.  When pre-production started on The Man Who Killed Don Quixtoe, Bill Clinton was President, George W. Bush was governor of Texas, Barack Obama was starting his first team in the Illinois State House, and Donald Trump was a real estate developer.  Shooting started in 2000 with Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp in the starring roles but was suspended when the production ran out of money.  In 2002, Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about Gilliam’s then-unfinished film, was released.

Gilliam didn’t give up on the film  Over the next couple of years, production was started and stalled a number of times.  Everyone from Robert Duvall to John Hurt to Ewan McGregor was cast in the film at one time or another.  I think most people assumed that the film would never be finished.

Well, those people were wrong.  Gilliam’s dream project has finally be completed, with Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver in the leading roles.  It would seem now that the film’s biggest challenge is to live up to all the hype and expectation that comes along with having a 19-year pre-production period.

As for right now, the film does not have an American release date but, yesterday, the first trailer for the French market was released.  And here it is!

Never Nominated: 16 Directors Who Have Never Received An Oscar Nomination


It’s a sad fact of life that not everyone who deserves an Oscar gets one.  For instance, Alfred Hitchcock received five nominations for best director but never won once.

That said, at least Hitchcock was nominated!  Some of our greatest directors have never even been nominated!  This list below is hardly exclusive but still, these 16 directors have somehow never been nominated.  Ten of them could still be nominated in the future.  Sadly, for six, the opportunity has forever passed.

  1. Dario Argento

Sadly, Dario Argento will probably never be nominated for best director.  None of his films — even the early, acclaimed work — were typical Oscar films.  But, consider this: Argento is one of the most influential directors of all time.  Regardless of what might be said about some of Argento’s more recent films, his earlier films are classics of their genre.  Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebrae — his work on any of these films would have been worthy of a nomination.

2. Andrea Arnold

This British director is responsible for two of the best films of the past ten years — Fish Tank and American Honey.  She deserved a nomination for both of them (and a win for American Honey).  Hopefully, she will be recognized in the future.

3. Tim Burton

I’m not the world’s biggest Tim Burton fan but he has a fan base that will follow him almost anywhere.  It seems like every year, we hear that Burton has finally made the film that will win him some Oscar recognition.  Remember Big Eyes?  As I said, I’m not a huge Burton fan but, if I was to nominate him, it would probably be for his work on Sweeney Todd.

4. John Carpenter

Carpenter deserved all sorts of nominations for his work in the 70s and the 80s.  Being the rebel that he is, Carpenter will probably never get the Oscar recognition that he deserves.  (He did win an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short.)

5. David Cronenberg

It’s hard to believe that this Canadian director has never been nominated.  While it’s obvious that the Academy would never recognize Cronenberg’s earlier work (even if he did deserve some recognition for that exploding head in Scanners), it still seems like he’s destined to be nominated eventually.

6. Terry Gilliam

Much like Tim Burton, Gilliam sadly seems to be destined to be one of those directors who will have to be content with a devoted fan base.  Sadly, as of late, Gilliam’s become better known for the film projects that were canceled than the ones that were actually produced.  I would have nominated him for Brazil.

7. Werner Herzog

How has Werner Herzog gone his entire career without receiving at least one nomination for Best Director!?  I would nominate him for the chance to hear the acceptance speech alone.

8. Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is another director who I’m shocked to realize has never been nominated.  He certainly deserved a nomination for Inception.  Maybe, just maybe, he’ll finally get some recognition for Dunkirk.

9. Lars Von Trier

With his controversial aesthetic and his talent for offending the masses, Lars Von Trier will never be nominated, no matter how much he might deserve it.

10. Joe Wright

Personally, I think that Joe Wright is responsible for two of the best films of the past ten years, Hanna and Anna Karenina.  Unfortunately, both were left out of their respective best picture races.  Even when Atonement was nominated for best picture, Wright did not receive a corresponding nomination.  Fortunately, with Darkest Hour, Wright will have another chance this year.

Best Director Joe Wright

And here are six directors who are no longer with us.  Sadly, these six will never have a chance to receive their first Oscar nomination:

  1. Mario Bava

Much like Dario Argento, there was never really any chance that the Academy would actually honor Mario Bava.  That’s a shame because Bava truly was one of the greatest directors of all time.  Check out Black Sabbath and Shock for proof.

2. Stanley Donen

It’s hard to believe that Donen wasn’t even nominated for Singin’ In The Rain.

3. John Frankenheimer 

It’s also hard to believe that Frankenheimer never received a nomination.  While he directed his share of bad films, he also directed Seven Days in May, The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds, and Ronin.

4. John Hughes

Not even for The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!  Hughes may have been snubbed by the Academy but his films practically invented an entire genre.

5. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

This directing team was a major influence on Martin Scorsese.  Black Narcissus remains one of the most visually stunning films of all time.  The Red Shoes was nominated for best picture but Powell/Pressburger were snubbed.

6. Nicholas Ray

Everyone knows that Ray directed Rebel Without a Cause.  Personally, I think his work on Bigger than Life was even more worthy of a nomination.

4 Shots From 4 Holiday Films: A Christmas Story, Brazil, Die Hard, Christmas Vacation


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

4 Shots From 4 Holiday Films

A Christmas Story (1983, dir by Bob Clark)

A Christmas Story (1983, dir by Bob Clark)

Brazil (1985, dir by Terry Gilliam)

Brazil (1985, dir by Terry Gilliam)

Die Hard (1988, dir by John McTiernan)

Die Hard (1988, dir by John McTiernan)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989, dir by Jeremiah Chechik)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989, dir by Jeremiah Chechik)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Time Bandits, Mona Lisa, Track 29


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

In 1978, George Harrison co-founded HandMade Films to finance Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.  The company continued to produce films through the 80s and helped to reinvigorate the British film industry.  All of the shots below come from HandMade films and credit George Harrison as executive producer.

4 Shots From 4 Films

Monty Python's The Life of Brian (1979, directed by Terry Jones)

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979, directed by Terry Jones)

Time Bandits (1981, directed by Terry Gilliam)

Time Bandits (1981, directed by Terry Gilliam)

Mona Lisa (1986, directed by Neil Jordan)

Mona Lisa (1986, directed by Neil Jordan)

Track 29 (1988, directed by Nicolas Roeg)

Track 29 (1988, directed by Nicolas Roeg)