Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gilliam on Gilliam

I'm reading a Terry Gilliam biography/interview. I'm only on page 69 but I'm enjoying it very much. I've admired him since watching his animations on Monty Python and am a big fan of some of his films. (Time Bandits, The Fisher King, Brazil) Here are a few quotes I've gleaned from the book so far. I'm sure I'll share more as I get into the book. I've really resonated with a lot of what he's said so far.

On becoming successful as an artist: 
"I think most artists are driven by a feeling of frustration, and so for the first part of your career you're railing against the establishment because you don't belong. Then, if you become successful, you're in a tricky situation: do you continue railing even though you're living in a nice house with a nice family and everything? I mean, what have I got to complain about? Not a thing, so what am I railing about? Yet I'm still angry and still frustrated. So what am I looking for? Trying to clear the shit away to find out what the truth is and what reality is."

On being part of the church when he was younger:
"But in the end I couldn't stand the fact that nobody felt able to laugh at God. Hold on a minute, I said, what kind of God is this that can't take my feeble jokes? It was the sanctimoniousness and, ultimately, the narrowmindedness of the people who were protecting this deity that I never thought needed any protection. Their God was a much smaller God than I was thinking of - less powerful - and he needed them to protect him."

On being normal:
"When I was a kid, I always thought everyone else was so interesting, but I was just incredibly normal. It used to drive me crazy. I felt I had to suffer if I was ever going to be an artist. Maybe it was the religious side again, feeling you had to go through a lot of pain and strip away the outside to lay bare the soul. Anyway, other people seemed to have it, but I was just nice, good company."

On collage:

"Cutting out images was such a freeing experience. Before, I'd had to draw everything and I'd get so precious about my own work. Now I could cut out other people's things and chop and change them. Why should I spend time learning to draw like Albrecht Durer when I could just cut out his best stuff and make it do what I wanted?"