Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Monday, March 06, 2006

Terry Gilliam Interview



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Imagine, if you will, that in our nation's capital, across from the Capitol Building and the monuments, there was situated a crazy, wild and vibrant building dedicated to Art, not Art as some collection of "things" in a museum, but as something that shouts and brays and whispers and sighs and points and festoons the whole world with potentialities beyond mere numbers and laws. Now put Terry Gilliam in charge of it.

"Television and the media are everywhere and they are taking over so powerfully. They don't shut up for a second. So you are unable to think. It is very difficult to think independently when you are surrounded by all that noise. What I most aspire to is to be alone. Not lonely, but alone. To stop all this noise. That is what I do when I go to Umbria. There is no television there, no telephone.

"The situation is especially serious with television. The money is dispersed among hundreds of stations so that no money is left for good things. In our time there was far greater depth. Not everything is artificial and as cheap as possible. Everyone gossips on television; it's all so trivial and it's impossible to hear anything."


The above quotes are Terry at his Terryiest. Artists do funny things, stupid things, recondite things, amazing flourishes, didactic hammerings, soaring flights of fancy and wearying inspections of decay, loss, grief: it points us to places we didn't know were there, or to ways of thinking we didn't know were possible. Artists do not fit snugly in the Box, the Big Box wherein all that can be imagined is proscribed, filed and dismissed. Not Art. Not yet.

That being said, Terry Gilliam was interviewed by Assaf Gavron, and though Mr. Gilliam has not been named "King of the Wood" he remains lively, interesting, distracted, blunt. You may not save the world, Terry, but you have made it less mundane. Would that you were in that enormous Art House, making noise, drawing monsters in the night. DC could use you right about now.

Read the interview here.

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Image of Terry Gilliam from here.

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