Terry Gilliam


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6.8 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1976)
5.0 Jabberwocky (1977)
7.4 Time Bandits (1981)
6.0 The Meaning Of Life (1983)
8.0 Brazil (1985)
6.5 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
7.2 Fisher King (1991)
7.3 12 Monkeys (1995)
6.0 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
5.5 The Brothers Grimm (2005)
5.0 Tideland (2005)
6.5 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
5.0 The Zero Theorem (2013)
7.1 The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)
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If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.

Terry Gilliam (1940) dei Monty Python, il gruppo di comici esordito nel 1969 con il programma televisivo "Monty Python's Flying Circus", diresse film ad episodi dal ritmo frenetico, immersi in un caos goliardico, grande fumettista, capace di fondere fantascienza, avventura, slapstick e satire.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1976) is really just a silly satirical farce in several episodes.

After three minutes of funny titles and counter-titles, the film finally begins. In 932 AD king Arthur and his servant Patsy are "riding" in the countryside. Actually they have no horses: they imitate a gallop and Patsy is banging two coconuts together to simulate the sound of hooves. They stop by the walls of a castle and Arthur demands to talk to the lord of the castle because he is recruiting knights for the Round Table of Camelot. However the sentry is more interested in finding out where the coconuts come from, since they are a tropical fruit. Eventually Arthur loses his patiences and "rides" away. They ride past a man who collects dead bodies and has been begged by a young man to take an old man who is not dead yet (the undertaker solves the problem by killing the old man with a heavy object) The king then runs into a young man who argues with a Marxist rant against authority. The local castle has been turned into a commune. King and servant then ride through the forest and meet two knights who are engaged in a brutal duel. The king invites the winner, a black knight, to join his court but the winner doesn't reply. When the king decides to move past him, the black knight declares that noone can do that and the king has to challenge him in duel. The king cuts both arms of the knight but the knight keeps fighting. The king cuts both legs of the knight and rides away: the knight calls him a coward for abandoning the fight. In a village a group of monks are chanting when a fanatical crowd pushes a woman forward calling her a witch and demanding that she be burned. However the judge who has to decide asks the crowd simple questions to explain how to prove whether she is a witch. They weigh her on a defective scale and she is summarily declared a witch and driven to the stakes. Then the narrating voice informs us that Arthur recruits Bedevere, Lancelot, Galahad and Robin and returns to Camelot (all of them "riding" with no horse), but, when they are in sight of the castle, after a brief intermezzo in the style of an operetta, Arthur changes his mind and decides to ride away. God appears among the clouds and orders Arthur to to search for the Holy Grail. After a cartoon of angels lifting the title of the quest, the knights resume their horse-less gallop through the countryside. They run into another castle. Arthur invites the lord to join his quest but a French soldier on the ramparts tells Arthur that the lord already has a grail. The French soldier insults and mocks the king and his knight. Arthur orders to charge the castle but the French soldiers throws dead animals at them. Bedevere comes up with an original idea. The French soldier hears funny sounds coming from their direction and eventually sees a giant mechanical rabbit roll towards the ramparts (pushed by the unseen nights). Bedevere then explains to Arthur the plan to sneak out of the rabbit at night... except that they did forgot to hide inside the rabbit. The French throw the rabbit over the ramparts like a bomb and the knights have to run for their lives. The film now shows "a famous historian" describing the next step in Arthur's mission. The knights decide to scatter. Before the historian can finish his story, he gets slain by a knight on horseback. The film resumes with Robin and his musical mistrels "riding" through the forest. He is stopped by a giant with three heads who argue with each other. Robin and his merry mistrels escape. Meanwhile, Galahad (nicknamed "the chaste") heads to a castle after seeing a grail-shaped beacon shone from its tower. The castle is run by lonely and frustrated women. The women admire the handsome man and try to take his virginity, demand to be spanked and offer oral sex. Just then Lancelot arrives and "rescues" Galahad who was beginning to like the welcome. Arthur and Bedevere are camping in the forest when they have the vision of an old hermit who tells them to find the brige of death. They progress is stopped by a giant knight who calls himself the Knights Who Say Ni. This knight demands that they bring him a "shrubbery". (These episodes are separated by surreal cartoons). There's a castle in a swamp whose lord has an idiotic son. The lord is marrying the son to the daughter of a landowner who owns good land, not a swamp. The son is reluctant because he only wants to sing. The son is kept prisoner in his room by guards who are no less stupid than him. The son writers a message, ties to an arrow and shoots the arrow outside the window. The arrow strikes Lancelot's servant in the chest and almost kills him. Lancelot reads the message and thinks that the writer calling for help is a damsell in distress. The castle is preparing the wedding banquet and we see the bride: a fat ugly woman. Lancelot enters the castle like a fury and slaughters everybody he runs into, no matter how harmless, including wedding guests and the best man. Lancelot is mighty disappointed when he realizes that the prisoner is a young man. The lord finds Lancelot in his son's room and complains that Lancelot has ruined the wedding. But then realizes that Lancelot comes from Camelot and invites him as a special guest, and lets the son fall from the tower to his death. The son survives and starts singing with all the surviving guests. We then see king Arthur and Bedevere looking for a shop that sells shrubbery. Luckily they run into a "shrubber", a man who sells shubberies. they bring the shrubbery to the Knights Who Say Ni, who this knight has changed name and now has more complicated demands. Luckily for Arthur this knight gets into a hysterical fright when anyone says "is". Just then Robin and his mistrels arrive. The formerly named Knights Who Say Ni collapses when they repeatedly say the word and then can all move on. Arthur joins again his knights. The group (still riding inexistent horses) reaches a land shaken by explosions. They are caused by an enchater named Tim who knows of Arthur's quest. The enchanter takes them to a cave where the location of the Holy Grail is written, but warns them that the cave is guarded by a ferocious creature. When they reach the edge of the cave, they realize that it is just a little rabbit. The knights laugh it out and Arthur orders one knight to kill the rabbit. The rabbit jumps and kills the knight. Arthur orders all the knights to attack at the same time. The rabbit slaughters lots of them while the enchater laughs. Luckily the monks who joined the group are carrying a "holy grenade" that blows up the rabbit. Then Arthur and his knights venture into the vast dark cave. They find an inscription in Aramaic that says the Holy Grail is in the Castle of Aarrgh. They are trying to figure out where Aarrgh is when they are attacked by a nasty monster. The monster is a cartoon character and luckily for them the animator who has been drawing it has a heart attack, so the film may continue. They finally reach the bridge of death. The bridge is guarded by an old hermit who challenges people with three questions: those who don't know the answers are thrown down the bridge into the deep gorge. Lancelot goes ahead. He is asked him three easy question. The two knights who follow him, Robin and Galahad, fail and are thrown down. Arthur and Bedevere are left. Arthur however asks a question in turn and the old man doesn't know the answer, and so the old hermit himself gets ejected from the bridge. Arthur and Bedevere cross the bridge and look in vain for Lancelot who seems to have disappeared. Arthur and Bedevere find the Castle of Aarrgh in the middle of a lake but are shocked to find out that the French soldiers have occupied also that castle. The same French sentry as before insults them and mocks them. The French soldiers even pour shit on Arthur and Bedevere. Arthur summons an army of knights that magically appears behind him. The army charges towards the castle but suddenly... police cars appear: they are investigating the killing of the famous historian. The cops arrest Arthur and Bedevere, disperse the others and tell the cameraman to stop filming. Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), diretto da Terry Jones.

Jabberwocky (1977), based on Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky" contained in his novel "Through the Looking-Glass" (1871), is a rather tedious medieval comedy.

In medieval time, a man collects the animals caught in his traps in the forest. He feels a presence but can't see any animal. Then suddenly he is attacked and eaten alive. The narrating voice informs us that a carnivorous monster ravages the land once happy and entire towns have been destroyed and many people have found shelter inside the walls of the big city. In a small village in the middle of the forest, Dennis is a young man, an assistant to his father, a craftsman. His father is a meticulous craftsman, who refuses to make cheap stuff. Dennis is in love with a fat and sloppy woman, Griselda, whose family is equally vulgar and sloppy, despite her father Fishfinger being a successful businessman. Griselda doesn't reciprocate his romantic speeches. Dennis' father has a heart attack. Before dying he insults Dennis, reveals that he has always despised him, and disinherits him. Dennis decides to move to big city. He tries to say goodbye to Griselda but she is eating and only throws a piece of rotting potato to him. Nonetheless he puts it in his pocket as a precious gift. Meanwhile, in the city the king, an old sick man named Bruno the Questionable, always assisted by a chamberlain called Passelewe, summons the three richest merchants of the city to a council. They arrive carried by poor people who are treated like horses. The merchants chat about their business, which consists in selling goods to the starving refugees. Starvation is so widespread that, when Dennis arrives, the guards cannot believe that his sweetheart gave him such a precious gift as a rotten potato. There's a long line of refugees waiting to get into the city, who are not being admitted because they own nothing. The king and the chamberlain decide to find the best knight of the realm through a tournament and then send the winner to fight the monster. If the knight succeeds, he will be given in marriage the king's daughter, who spends her time surrounded by a dozen nuns called Sisters of Misery waiting for a prince to come and marry her. She starts crying when her father tells her that none of the knights is a prince. While this is going on, Dennis is sitting outside the walls in the rain with all the other starving refugees. The refugees are cooking a soup and they tell him that he can have some if he gets them firewood. To get firewod, Dennis has to venture into the forest from which they can hear the monster howling. Dennis, starving, ventures into the forest and is attacked by a madman who thinks that Dennis is after his diamonds, diamonds which are just rocks. Dennis is saved by the monster who grabs and eats the madman. Dennis runs back without any firewood. In the morning he takes advantage that a guard opens a door to shit and sneaks into the city while locking out the guard. He walks around the streets of the city, mesmerized by the many shops, but also terrified by the crowds. He witnesses a procession of fanatical Christians who self-flagellate to cast a spell on the monster. Dennis meets a beggar who cut his leg in order to beg (and keeps the bloody leg on display): he is actually a famous craftsman, Wat, who has found no luck in the city. Wat explains that Dennis must first become a member of the guild. Dennis checks the work in a workshop and humbly tries to suggest that a worker would be more efficient if he moved a table: that causes a chain reaction of events that destroys the workshop. A man named Ethel watches the destruction and is so amused that he buys Dennis a big meal at an inn. Ethel seduces, or better is seduced by, the horny innkeeper's wife. When a crowd of customers walks in and the innkeeper can't find his wife, Dennis confesses where she is, and the innkeeper tries to kill him. Guards intervene and save Dennis but arrest both of them. Meanwhile, the rich merchants are questioning the king's decision to destroy the monster: the monster has created unprecedented prosperity in the city. Their meeting is rudely interrupted by the guards who are trying to imprison the innkeeper and Dennis: the jealous innkeeper keeps trying to strangle Dennis. Taking advantage of the confusion, Dennis escapes to the tower of the princess and breaks into her room while she is naked. The nuns rush to dress up the princess but the princess, who has been brainwashed by all the romantic books that she has read, thinks that Dennis is a brave prince who fought his way to her quarters. The princess is read to marry him and Dennis tries in vain to explain that he loves another woman. When the rotten potato falls off his pocket, she thinks it's a gift for her. She forces him to dress like a nun and, still repeating scenes from books, sends him to a safe refuge. Instead he is soon attacked by the mob of fanatical Christians who think he is the devil disguised as a nun. Luckily they are too demented to pay attention to him and he escapes. The following morning the king is getting ready for the tournament when he sees the rotten potato in the hands of his daughter. Disgusted, he throws it out of the tower and it falls precisely on Dennis waking him up. During the tournament, while they are being sprinkled with the blood of all the knights that get killed, Passelewe points out to the king that 65 knights have already been killed. The king accepts to stop the tournament and pick the champion with a game of hide and seek. Eventually someone wins but, by definition, he is the one who cannot be found (he's hiding). Eventually the champion is found. Meanwhile, Dennis meets Ethel again and Ethel asks Dennis to take his job because Ethel wants to stay with the innkeeper's wife: his job is squire of the winning knight. The innkeeper buys his freedom from the prison guards and Ethel has to hide under their bed. Unfortunately the bed collapses when the couple makes love and Ethel is crushed to death. Dennis, instead, wearing Ethel's squire clothes has to follow the knight as he ventures out of the city in search of the monster. The knight rides a horse, Dennis rides a donkey. They stumble on a group of bandits who are attacking Griselda and her father. Dennis frees them but Griselda and her family are more interested in the knight because they have never seen a knight. They ignore Dennis and even kick him away without his donkey. Meanwhile in the city the merchants are worried: that if the monster gets killed, they will be ruined. So they hire another warrior, the Black Knight, with the mission to kill the king's champion. Reunited to his knight, Dennis has to walk away on foot, and steps into monster shit, a sign they are getting closer to the monster's lair , and then they spot several skeletons. At the same time the Black Knight approaches, followed by a group of bandits, and easily kills the champion. Black Knight and his gang are about to kill Dennis when the monster appears and attacks them. The monster kills the Black Knight and then is about to plunge on Dennis but Dennis bends and the monster dies on Dennis' sword. Dennis rides to the city carrying the monster's head. Now Griselda welcomes him and is ready to marry him, but the king walks in and gives him the princess in marriage and half of his kingdom. The wedding is celebrated right away and Dennis tries in vain to return to his Griselda.

Time Bandits (1981) tells the fantastic adventures of a child who joins six mischievous "time bandits" and travels to various periods of history to steal valuable artifacts. Futuristic setting, galaxies, on a distant planet a nice residential area. Inside one of the homes two middle-class parents watch tv all the time. Their child goes to bad and sees a medieval knight jump out of the wardrobe riding a horse and then disappear in the woods. The child wakes up in his bed and looks at the pictures on the wall, one of which is of the knight. But it was not entirely a dream, as his father opens the door, extremely upset, because he heard the noise.
The following night, as soon as the child falls asleep, a bunch of midgets dressed in archaic clothes come out of the wardrobe. At first they are afraid but then they get aggressive and want the child to help them get out of there. As they push, the wall with the pictures keeps moving and eventually a giant face appears that demands they return what they have stolen from him. They all (Kevin and the midgets) fall into a hole and down into a farm in Northern Italy a century before. Kevin, still dressed in his pajama, tries to escape through the green fields, but he meets soldiers on their way to a battle and a crowd of civilians fleeing the war. The midgets capture him again and force him to follow them into the city, where he is overwhelmed by images of destruction and death. They observe Napoleon watching a puppet show while his enemy is waiting to surrender. THe nidgets entertain Napoleon and are invited to dinner. When Napoleon falls asleep, the midgets steal as much as possible and run away. The guards chase them, but the midgets disappear through the wall, dragging with them the child, who is now less reluctant to follow them. They plunge into another age, and crash through the roof of a stagecoach. The midgets have a map that guides them through time. This time they are in the middle age. They fall into the traps of a gang and end up swinging upside down from the branches of a tree. They are taken to the camp and meet the graceful Robin Hood. On his mission to redistribute wealth, Robin confiscates their treasure and gives it to the poor. Kevin would like to stay, but the midgets drag him away again.
A mysterious Evil One is observing them from another dimension. The dwarves are former employees of the Evil One who have stolen a map of the universe from him and set forth to rob the wealth of the world. The map contains time holes that enable the possessor to travel back and forth through time. The Evil One is confined in a castle of darkness until he regains the map. He uses his power to direct the midgets towards a trap. The midgets resist, but Kevin fall into it and is transported to another age, where Agamennon is fighting a monster in the desert. Kevin's fall on Agamennon saves him from the monster. Agamennon takes che child with him back to the city, where a crowd greets him in triumph. Agamennon names Kevin his successor to the throne but during the banquet the midgets appear and again they steal valuables and child.
Next, they plunge into the Titanic, all dressed up for the high society. When the Titanic sinks, the Evil One uses his powers to send them into another sea, where they are captured by a pirate. A giant comes out of the sea carrying the ship on his head. Kevin and the midgets escape and keep walking until they reach the end of the world, the invisible wall that separates the world from the land of darkness where the Evil One lives.
They enter the mysterious kingdom only to be trapped by the Evil One, who finally regains the map. Kevin and the dwarves escape and save the world.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.

Time Bandits (1981) racconta l'odissea di un bambino che viene guidato da sei nani ex giardinieri del paradiso attraverso un pertugio dello spazio tempo e si ritrova a contatto con i grandi della storia, delle fiabe e della mitologia; e intanto prende in giro gli elettrodomestici, i telequiz, la tecnologia, il consumismo.

Brazil (1985), Brecht + Freud + 1984 + modernismo e grottesco iperbolico; è l'immaginario frustrato d un timido impiegato schiacciato dal peso della burocrazia informatica, innamorato di una camionista estremista e aiutato da un misterioso terrorista-acrobata dell'aria condizionata, si sfoga di notte, sognando impossibili avventure in mondi? inesistenti sotto forma di incubi freudiani, fiabe infantili e allucinazioni surrealiste; accusato di tradimento dai burocrati, sopporta i supplizi e gli interrogatori continuando a sognare, fino a stremare i suoi persecutori. Gag visive, scenografie moderniste.

La storia e` ambientata in una societa` Orwelliana del futuro, controllata da una burocrazia implacabile e onnipresente. Un giorno una mosca causa un problema nei computer del governo e fa si` che venga arrestato un innocuo Mr. Buttle, invece del terrorista Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). La polizia semplicemente recapita alla moglie di Buttle una ricevuta per il marito e le chiedono di firmare una ricevuta per la ricevuta.
Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) e` un impiegato che sogna in continuazione di essere un cavaliere alato alla disperata ricerca della sua bella. Lavora nel dipartimento in cui e` stato commesso l'errore e il suo capo e` un pavido che teme di essere punito e chiede in continuazione il suo aiuto. Sam vede la sua amata, Jill Layton, che protesta con il portiere del suo ufficio perche' e` rimasta intrappolata nell'interminabile serie di pratiche burocratiche.
La madre di Sam e` una donna molto influente, amica intima del capo di un ministero. La madre procura a Sam un trasferimento in quel ministero che e` un'ambita promozione. Sam ha gia` detto al suo capo che non la vuole. La madre vorrebbe anche fidanzarlo con la scema Shirley, figlia di un'amica. Mentre stanno cenando al ristorante, una bomba esplode e causa un massacro, ma la gente e` talmente abituata che continua a mangiare come niente fosse.
Nel suo sogno la Jill viene rapita da esseri mostruosi e rinchiusa in una gabbia volante, e lui ingaggia un duello all'ultimo sangue con un colosso sullo sfondo di uno scenario di torri gigantesche.
Un giorno si guasta l'impianto di condizionamento. Sam chiama il ministero in carica della riparazione, ma prima che arrivino gli operai irrompe in casa sua il terrorista ricercato dalle autorita`, Harry. Il suo crimine consiste nel riparare illegalmente i guasti. Quando i veri operai arrivano, Sam trova un pretesto per mandarli via, ma cosi` facendo fa infuriare uno di loro, Spoor, che giura vendetta. Harry ripara il guasto e poi si dilegua sui tetti. Il groviglio di tubature sembra un organismo vivente e Harry sembra un chirurgo che sta operando.
E` Natale.
Nel frattempo Buttle e` morto (probabilmente sotto tortura) e il capo di Sam non sa che pesci prendere. Sam trova una elegante via d'uscita: pagare alla vedova un assegno come rimborso per la perdita. Lui stesso si reca nel quartiere di periferia con la sua piccola monoposto. Trova la donna terrorizzata. Le offre l'assegno ma lei si mette a inveire contro di lui. Ha capito che il marito e` morto, benche' non avesse commesso alcun crimine. In quel momento spunta Jill. Sam la rincorre, ma non riesce a fermarla: fugge su un autocarro. La monoposto di Sam e` stata bruciata dai bambini.
Tornato in ufficio, Sam tenta di scoprire qualcosa su Jill, ma il computer non glielo consente. Decide allora di accettare la promozione ai Central Services, che hanno accesso alle informazioni riservate. Il suo sogno si fa sempre piu` intenso. Tornato a casa, la trova in subbuglio. Spoor ha ottenuto il permesso di riparare il guasto e ha scoperto la sua illegalita`. Una ragazza gli porta un messaggio cantato che e` un invito a un party della madre. Al party Sam incontra il capo dei Central Services e gli spiega di essere disposto a lavorare per lui. Il giorno dopo inizia il suo nuovo lavoro, in un edificio ancor piu` minaccioso. Nel labirinto di corridoi deserti un gruppo di impiegati insegue il suo nuovo capo. Gli viene assegnato un cubicolo con una mezza scrivania: l'altra meta` e` nell'ufficio di fianco, occupato da un pavido, e i due devono contendersi con la forza la scrivania. Sam lo convince pero` a procurargli informazioni su Jill.
Nello stesso ministero lavora anche un vecchio amico di Sam, Jack. Quando Jack vede la fotografia di Jill, si spaventa. Jack e` parte dell'errore burocratico che ha ucciso Buttle, e Jill e` diventata pericolosa perche' sta facendo troppo rumore attorno a quell'errore. Sam intravede Jill nell'atrio del palazzo che litiga con il portiere per l'ennesimo cavillo burocratico e si precipita a fermarla. Jill riesce a liberarsi e saltare sul solito autocarro, ma questa volta Sam balza a bordo. Le confessa il suo amore. Lei lo scaraventa fuori e tenta di liberarsene, ma lui rimane aggrappato rischiando la vita finche' lei scoppia a ridere e lo lascia stare con lei. Lo porta nel cantiere in cui lavora. Sam la pensa una terrorista e, quando le affidano una pacco, pensa immediatamente che si tratti di una bomba. Caricano una casa prefabbricata sul rimorchio del camion, poi si rimettono in marcia. Al primo posto di blocco Sam si fa prendere dal panico e la spinge a sfondare le sbarre. Diventano cosi` dei fuggitivi. Vengono inseguiti dalla polizia lungo una strada diritta fiancheggiata da cartelli pubblicitari. Seminano gli inseguitori, poi entrano in un centro commerciale. Una bomba esplode e Sam inveisce contro Jill, ma Jill apre il pacco e gli fa vedere che si tratta soltanto di un regalo. Nel difenderla vive davvero il sogno del colosso e dei mostri. Ma nella realta` la polizia lo arresta.
Il capo lo rimprovera. Sam chiede a Jack di intercedere per Jill, ma questi gli dice di stare alla larga. Spoor e l'altro tecnico sono ancora nel suo appartamento, ma Harry manipola i tubi in maniera tale che i loro scafandri si riempiano di merda. Anche Jill compare sui tetti e Harry si dilegua. Sam nasconde Jill in casa della madre. Jill lo bacia. Sam decide di salvarla nell'unico modo possibile: penetra di nascosto nell'ufficio del capo supremo (l'amico di sua madre, della quale tiene una fotografia sulla scrivania) e mette nel computer l'informazione che Jill e` morta. Cosi` smetteranno di cercarla. A casa la trova in sottoveste, come nel sogno. Fanno l'amore nella grande alcova, ma la polizia irrompe da tutte le parti. Lo portano in una grande stanza cilindrica, nel centro della quale e` una sedia di tortura. A torturarlo si accinge un uomo mascherato, che Sam riconosce per Jack. Jack non ascolta le sue suppliche e si mette all'opera.
La mente di Sam precipita in un sogno: i terroristi capitanati da Harry attaccano l'edificio, lo liberano, fanno saltare in aria il ministero, scappano. Sam arriva in una chiesa in cui si stanno celebrando le esequie della madre, che il chirurgo di fiducia ha ringiovanito fino al punto da farla assomigliare a Jill (stanno seppellando la vecchia madre, quella ringiovanita e` fra il pubblico). Sam continua a fuggire per i vicoli, sempre inseguito dalla polizia. Il sogno diventa sempre piu` un incubo, con Sam inseguito da una folla di appestati. Ma Jill lo salva con l'autocarro e se ne vanno insieme per verdi valli.
In realta` Sam e` rimasto completamente istupidito dopo la tortura e sta sognando di nuovo di librarsi fra le nuvole, questa volta a bordo della sedia di tortura.
A volte sembra soltanto una parodia di "1984", ma gli scenari cubisti e apocalittici rendono sinistro anche lo humour piu` farsesco. Molte scene rigurgitano di dettagli satirici in cui la societa` consumista e la societa` totalitaria sembrano essere due facce dello stesso fenomeno. Alcune scene comiche (la casa completamente automatica, la lotta per la scrivania) conservano molta della slapstick britannica (Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel).

The Meaning Of Life (1983), directed by Terry Jones, is a musical comedy consisting in a series of elaborate skits, some more amusing than others.

The film opens with a short directed by Terry Gilliam, The Crimson Permanent Assurance. In the office of a corporation the elderly employees are worked to death by heartless managers. When one is fired, the others revolt and attack the managers. After locking some of them in the safe and throwing one down the window, they climb to the roof and turn the entire building into a pirate galleon that sails away through the streets of the financial city. The head for a cluster of skyscrapers and break into a floor where they fight the corporate managers with swords. The only surviving white-collar employee jumps from the window and the pirates proceed to attack and destroy every skyscraper, leaving behind only ruins. They set out to destroy all the financial capitals of the world but their stone galleon falls off the edge of the world because the shape of the world is not what they believed.

Fish with human faces in the tank in a restaurant observe as one of them is being eaten by a customer. An animated musical skit discusses the meaning of life.

Then another short begins, "The Miracle of Birth", in which a pregnant woman is rushed to a hospital room by a nurse. The two doctors order the nurses to bring all sorts of machines but initially forget to ask for the patient. When the pregnant woman is finally brought in, the doctors ask her to lift her legs and they summon a crowd of men to stare at her intimate parts. One of them is the husband but he is unceremoniously expelled because only involved parties are allowed. The two doctors are particularly proud of an expensive machine that goes "bing!". When the administrator walks in, they proudly showed the bing machine. The birth is a matter of seconds and the mother is quickly abandoned.

The second sketch shows a stork dropping a baby into the home of a working-class family. The mother is busy at work in the kitchen and casually asks her son to pick up the newborn. The camera shows us the whole family: the mother is surrounded by dozens of children. The father walks home with the sad news that the mill is closing. He blames his poverty on the Catholic church's opposition to birth control. He then intones a song, "Every Sperm Is Sacred", and the children accompany him in the style of the children's choir of a church, and the ballet includes cardinals and nuns. The father tells the children that the only remedy to their poverty is that he will sell them off to medical experiments. Across the street a protestant man proudly explains to his wife that the Protestant church instead allows him to wear condoms. His wife seems surprised to learn that they can have sex for mere pleasure.

The third sketch, "Growth and Learning", opens in a church where a priest leads dozens of children in prayer. It then moves to a classroom where the teacher conducts a sex education lesson. He interrogates the children (played by adult actors) about foreplay and other aspects of sex, and then introduces a bed, invites his wife, strips with her, and demonstrates how sex is carried out. The children are rather bored while the teacher describes the steps that he is following to copulate. One particularly despondent pupil is sentenced to play in a rugby match during which he is beated ferociously by schoolmasters.

The next sketch, "Fighting Each Other", takes place on the battlefield. An officer tries in vain to launch an assault but his men buy time by presenting him with (cumbersome) farewell presents. The presents include a cake. When he refuses it, the soldiers gets upset. The soldiers are killed nonetheless during the argument. It turns out this is a video showed by a soldier who is giving a speech about the importance of the army. God annihilates him with lightning. After witnessing a hypocritical sergeant harassing his platoon, we see a scene of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 in which soldiers are being slaughtered while the officers calmly enjoy themselves in a tent. An officer whose leg has been severed calmly reads a book while the doctor tries to figure out what animal bit his leg. The doctor initially suspects a virus but then comes to the more reasonable theory that a tiger ate the man's leg. The officers, still indifferent to the slaughter on the battlefield, set out to hunt the tiger. The expedition finds a huge tiger hiding in the bushes. When they shoot, the "tiger" turns out to be two men, each wearing half of a tiger costume. They give dozens of contradictory explanations for their behavior. Initially they deny having the missing leg, but then they admit they have it.

After a lady informs us that we have reached the middle of the film, we see masked men discuss a hiding fish and we meet again the fish in the tank of the restaurant.

"Middle Age" takes place in a torture-themem Hawaiian restaurant where two tourists must pick from a menu of conversations. The couple chooses the meaning of life from the menu. The tourists eventually get bored by that conversation and they ask for a new item from the menu. The waiter suggests "Live Organ Transplants", which is the title of the next sketch.

Two paramedics enter the house of a man who has accepted to donate his organs (after death) and forcefully remove his liver with giant pliers despite his desperate screams. His wife takes it stoically. One of the paramedics opens the fridge and a singer comes out intoning a song about the meaninglessness of human life against a starry background. The film jumps to the corporate boardroom of a financial firm where a group of managers are discussing the meaning of life. They are suddenly attacked by the elderly of the "Crimson Permanent Assurance" pirate galleon. Again their mission fails, this time because a skyscraper collapses.

A singer entertains the public of a restaurant in "The Autumn Years" with a song about the penis. A super-obese customer walks in. He is escorted to a table and offered a bucket to vomit. He keeps vomiting while the waiter reads the menu. The customer orders the entire menu. He devours everything but explodes when the waiter offers him a very small candy. The explosion sprinkles food on all the other customers. The waiter then brings the bill. Later, when all customers have left, a cleaning woman cleans the mess and discusses the meaning of life with the waiter. This is a new sketch, "The Meaning of Life". The waiter is shocked to hear the cleaning woman utter racist remarks and interrupts her placing a bucket upside down on her head. He apologizes to the audience. Another waiter leads us out of the restaurant into the street and to the countr home where he was born. He explains how he became a waiter but, realizing that it's a pathetic story, he starts insulting us and walks away.

A man has been sentenced to death in the sketch "Death": the priest, authorities and family are preparing the funeral, but he has been allowed to choose the form of his execution and he chose to be chased by a group of topless women until he falls off a cliff to his death. This is followed by an animated short in which leaves commit suicide falling down from the branches of their tree. Death, in the form of the Grim Reaper, knocks at the door of an isolated country home. Man in a suit and tie opens the door and is confused about what Death wants from him. His wife however invites Mr Death to join their dinner party. The guests just don't understand who he is. He walks through the table to show that he is not human. The guests, however, simply begin a formal conversation about death. Death rudely interrupts them and informs them that they all died of food poisoning (even the one who didn't eat the poisoned food). The husband tries in vain to shoot Death. They get into their cars and follow Death who takes them into a giant rotating hole. They resurface into a hotel, where the two tourists of the Hawaian restaurant are also staying. The reception informs them that it's always Christmas in Paradise. All the characters from the previous sketches are there to listen to a smiling singer sing "Christmas in Heaven". The song is interrupted because... it was a TV show and the lady we saw in "The Middle of the Film" just turned it off. She is then delivered an envelop containing the meaning of life. It's nothing special and she concludes with some delirious remarks about movies.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989) is messy to say the least, riddled with long sections that are irrelevant, indulging in eccentric comedy skits that are not always funny. The final battle is utterly ridiculous. In a sense Gilliam proves that the message of the film (that irrationality is better than rationality) is wrong: a little more rationality would have helped the film.

In the late 18th century the Ottomans are attacking a city with cannons. There are dead people everywhere and there is no food. Nonetheless, a troupe stages a funny play about the life of the Baron Munchausen. At the end of the first act, the main actor, Henry, is furious that the troupe mishandled the various gadgets of the stage. Henry apologizes to the mayor who is holding an emergency meeting. The mayor orders a hero to be executed because his heroic feats are demoralizing ordinary people. The play resumes but is soon interrupted by an old man who walks towards the stage shouting that the play is a travesty. He claims to be the real Baron Munchausen and that the play misrepresent his true life. The madman wreaks havoc on stage and recognizes actors as old friends: Berthold, Adolphus, and Gustavus. When the mayor demands an explanation, the madman claims that he started the war and only he can end it. The Baron walks in front of the audience and starts narrating his life's story. The actors improvise an action based on his stories and those become flashbacks.
A younger Baron is the guest of the sultan and offers a bet: if he can bring him a bottle of wine from Vienna in an hour, he will be free to take as much treasure as he can; if he fails, he will be beheaded. He charges Berthold, the world's fastest runner, to deliver the request to the empress of Austria. While they wait, the sultan insists on performing an operetta that he composed. The sultan plays an organ-like instrument with an attached cage that tortures the prisoners in the cage. The Baron is getting worried that Berthold is taking so long. Luckily he can count on the help of Adolphus, a rifleman with superhuman eyesight that spots Berthold asleep under a tree and wakes him up. The Baron wins the bet and the sultan allows him to take as much of the treasure as he can. The sultan doesn't know that the Baron can count on the strongest man in the world, the black Albrecht, who carries out the entire treasure. The sultan orders his soldiers to stop them but the Baron can also count on Gustavus, a midget who can annihilate an army with his bad breath. The sultan then orders the artillery to bomb the Baron and his friends.
Back to the present, the bombs are falling on the theater and the ceiling is collapsing. The audience runs out in panic. The Baron begs them in vain to remain and listen to the rest of the story, but gets buried under the ruins. The mayor declares the theater closed. The Angel of Death attacks the Baron, and Henry's little daughter Sally saves his life. The Baron tells Sally that he doesn't mind dying: he hates the age of reason, in which there is no room for fantastic beings and lands. Sally begs him to continue the story and but the Ottomans to keep firing bombs at the theater. The soldiers of the city refuse to fight because they are on holiday. The Baron tries to fire one of the city's cannons, but ends up firing himself in the sky. Nonetheless he returns alive after flying over enemy lines. The Baron has a plan: to find his superhuman friends and save the city with their help. He asks the ladies to remove their underwear and uses them to build a hot-air balloon. The Baron flies away while the mayor orders the actors to be arrested. Then he realizes that he has a stowaway: Sally. The Baron informs her that they are headed for the Moon because it's the last place where he saw Berthold, and tells her that the king and the queen of the Moon have detachable heads. The king of the Moon (just the head, floating in the sky) welcomes them and boasts that he now rules over the entire universe. The head enjoys being free from the body so it can devote itself to higher thoughts. The headless body grabs the head that doesn't want to rejoin the body and forces it on the neck. The complete king is a vulgar man. The queen despises him. The king dislikes the Baron because he had an affair with the queen. The head of the king escapes the body but is captured again. The head of the queen escapes too, but the king tickles her body's feet which drives the queen's head crazy. The Baron finds Berthold, who initially doesn't recognize him and is reduced to man who cannot walk anymore. The trio is chased by the king on a flying mechanical three-headed bird. The flying machine explodes and the king's body dies. The king's head is liberated but is catapulted far away because it can't control the sneezing. Berthold recovers his memory after hitting a rock the trio heads home. They plunge from the sky into the inferno ruled by the god Vulcan, inside the Etna volcano. Vulcan takes them to his palace and they find that his female servant is... Albrecht. And he is happy of his new effeminate condition. A naked Botticelli-style Venus emerges from Vulcan's pond: Vulcan's wife. The Baron is immediately smitten by Venus' beauty. Venus invites him to dance and they levitate, dancing higher and higher, and kissing. Sally, who wants to return to the town and help it against the Ottomans, tells Vulcan that they are kissing and a jealous Vulcan expels the Baron and his friends through a maelstrom. They fall in a tunnel that drops them on the other side of the Earth. They find themselves floating in the ocean, chased by a colossal monster. They are swallowed Pinocchio-style in the belly of the beast and discover people who have been stranded there for a long time. They recognize the midget Gustavus, now half-deaf, and the rifleman Adolphus, now half-blind. None of the the Baron's superhuman friends is superhuman anymore: they are all old and feeble. Despite Sally's desperate reminders, the Baron loses the motivation to help the town. His friends have no desire to leave the comfortable belly of the beast. Then his horse appears, recognizing the voice of his old master, and the Baron gets excited about escaping. He blows some powder in the air which makes the monster sneeze and blow all people up in the air. They conveniently fall into a boat, but the boat is bombed by pirates. They manage to walk ashore and find themselves near the Ottoman army that is laying siege to the town. The Baron is ready to attack but Sally points out that his friends are too old to fight. The Baron walks alone into the camp of the Ottomans and surrenders to the sultan. He arrives just when the sultan and the mayor are negotiating the end of the war: the sultan, who is winning, demands that the mayor surrenders, but the mayor replies that he already surrendered last time and so it is now the Ottoman's turn to surrender. They both despise the Baron: the sultan because the Baron took his treasure and the mayor because the Baron represents the irrational (a mortal affront in the age of reason). The Baron is sentenced to be beheaded, but his friends finally come to the rescue. The Baron jumps on his horse and leads the attack. Despite being badly outnumbered, the Baron and his friends rout the Ottoman army away (a midget blows a mouse through the feet of the elephants) and liberate the town. The mayor, though, is unhappy that the irrational lunatic Baron has triumphed and kills him shooting from the top of the tower. The dying Baron is assisted by a doctor wearing black, who is actually the Angel of Death that has been repeatedly trying to take him away. The whole town attends his funeral.
Back to the present, we see that this is just the conclusion of the Baron's show on the stage of the theater. The Baron tells them that it was just one of his many deaths. The mayor orders the arrest of what is evidently a madman. The Baron shouts to open the gates despite the Ottomans. The people abandon the mayor and follow him. The Baron shows that the Ottomans have indeed abandoned the siege and then rides away on his horse.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.

Fisher King (1991), scritto da Richard LaGravenese, e` forse il suo film piu` "mainstream":

Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) e` un cinico "radio host" che si e` guadagnato una reputazione insultando il pubblico e tenendo discorsi provocatori. Un giorno pero` uno dei suoi ascoltatori segue i suoi consigli e compie una strage in un ristorante. Tre anni dopo, lasciato il lavoro alla radio e ridotto a farsi mantenere dalla ragazza Anne, afflitto da manie depressive e sul punto di suicidarsi, viene attaccato da due teppisti che stanno per dargli fuoco quando viene salvato da un vagabondo di nome Parry (Robin Williams). Questi e` un folle convinto di essere un cavaliere medievale. Jack gli offre denaro come ricompensa, ma Parry ha piani ben piu` ambiziosi: vuole mettere le mani sull'Holy Grail. Parry confida a Jack dove si trova: nella collezione privata di un ricco collezionista.
Jack scopre che la moglie di Parry venne uccisa nel massacro al ristorante, e, sentendosi responsabile della follia di Parry, decide di aiutarlo. I due diventano amici per la pelle, anche se sopportare i capricci di Parry non e` facile. Parry e` ossessionato da un "Red Knight" che lo sta braccando e che ogni tanto vede sotto forma di un dragone rosso, parla ad alcuni amici invisibili (che chiama "Little People") e si e` innamorato con una donna che vede tutti i giorni alla stazione. Un giorno Parry si mette a inseguire il suo nemico immaginario, prima attraverso il traffico incurante delle auto che lo investono e poi nel parco Parry ha una grande opinione di Jack, ma Jack si sente invece un essere schifoso. Alla stazione Parry ha una visione surreale: la stazione con la sua folla frettolosa diventa una grande sala da ballo della Mitteleuropa imperiale e i pendolari si trasformano in eleganti ballerini mentre un'orchestra suona un valzer. L'incontro pero` fallisce. La donna e` pero` effettivamente sola, e forse Parry l'ha spiata e lo sa: a casa prepara cena per due, ma l'altra persona non esiste. Ci parla e ci litiga fumando istericamente da sola.
Jack confida l'amore di Parry a Anne e insieme decidono di aiutarlo a incontrare la sua fiamma. La sconosciuta si rivela una donna poco sociale e diffidente di tutti, e non molto piu` sana di mente di Parry. Anne sopporta a malapena il suo carattere indisponente e diffidente, dovuto forse alla sua solitudine, ma, lasciate sole, le due ragazze finiscono per fare amicizia e confidarsi (la zitella confessa ad Anne di non essere mai uscita con un uomo, di venire ignorata dai colleghi, di non credere piu` nel principe azzurro). Obbligati dai rispettivi amici/protettori a una cena elegante, Parry e la zitella si scoprono fatti l'uno per l'altra. Parry trova il coraggio di dirle la verita` e lei e` commossa dalla sua devozione. La nuova missione riavvicina anche Jack e Anne, che per la prima volta dopo tanto tempo si divertono a crepapelle e si scambiano tenerezze.
Ma dopo aver riaccompagnato la donna a casa, Parry ha la visione del "Red Knight" che lo insegue a cavallo per le strade di New York e scappa trafelato finche' due teppisti lo assaltano con bastoni e coltelli.
Jack si sta godendo la rinascita (ha appena accettato un nuovo lavoro con entusiasmo), ma sopravviene una nuova crisi nella relazione con Anne, che si aspettava una proposta di matrimonio. Li chiamano all'ospedale dove Parry e` in un coma. Proprio quando Jack e Parry sembravano aver cominciato ciascuno una nuova vita si ritrovano di nuovo senza nulla, uno privato persino dell'unica persona che gli era rimasta vicino durante la depressione e l'altro ridotto allo stato catatonico in cui era gia` caduto dopo la morte della moglie.
Jack ha ripreso a lavorare alla radio. Un amico barbone di Parry viene a cercarlo, ma Jack finge di non riconoscerlo. Sembra essere tornato allo stadio di cinico insensibile, ma questa volta la coscienza lo risveglia: va a trovare Parry, che e` gia` stato trasferito in manicomio, e tenta invano di convincerlo a uscire dallo stato di catalessi. Jack intuisce che soltanto l'Holy Grail puo` salvare Parry. Indossa gli abiti da matto di Parry e si arrampica in maniera un po' comica sul grattacielo del ricco collezionista. In casa trova l'uomo morto, vittima di un collasso, prende l'oggetto (in realta` la coppa di un trofeo sportivo) e la porta a Parry.
Parry si riprende, sposa la zitella, Jack e Anne si riconciliano, e tutti vivono felici e contenti.
Il film e` una parabola, la parabola di una lenta ed estenuante lotta fra la razionalita` di un cinico pragmatista e l'immaginazione di un pazzo. Poco alla volta l'immaginazione del secondo prevale sulla razionalita` del primo, e soltanto quando il primo si arrende del tutto i due possono ritrovare la serenita`. Non e` tanto il rimorso la chiave di volta, ne' l'accusa contro e il cinismo dello showbusiness: la redenzione di Jack e` in realta` la soluzione di una crisi esistenziale. Non e` tanto Jack che aiuta Parry a compiere la sua missione, quando Parry che salva la vita di Jack ripetutamente dandogli un senso e cambiandone la fisionomia. Le due storie d'amore sono altrettanto complementari e funzionali l'una all'altra: Jack e Anne sono una coppia razionale, e per questo in crisi, che pero` usa la propria razionalita` per favorire il successo dell'altra coppie; ma e` la bizzarra storia d'amore dell'altra coppia che riaccende la fiamma del romanticismo nella relazione di Jack e Anne. Chi ha bisogno dell'Holy Grail, senza saperlo, e` Jack, e soltanto quando diventa consapevole che questa e` la sua missione Jack si redime e si salva. Jack ha sempre odiato il mondo. Grazie a Parry, riesce a capire meglio la gente che ha sempre disprezzato e riesce ad accettare (e adottare per se stesso) la loro mediocrita` piccolo borghese. Bridges goes into a three-year funk, drinking Il film continua l'ossessione mitologica di Gilliam, che l'aveva gia` portato a "The Time Bandits" e lo portera` a "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" Ma questa volta la trapianta in un vita ordinaria dei nostri tempi.

12 Monkeys (1995) is almost a remake of Chris Marker's La Jetee (1962).

James (Bruce Wills) sogna una scena all'aeroporto in cui un uomo viene ucciso fra la disperazione di una donna bionda. Si risveglia in una cella microscopica, che fa parte di una gigantesca prigione sotterranea. E` stato prescelto come volontario e fa appena in tempo a salutare il compagno Jose prima che una gru lo tiri fuori dalla cella. La missione consiste nell'uscire all'aperto, dentro una tuta ermeticamente chiusa, e prelevare insetti. James esce da un tombino e si avventura per le strade deserte. In giro ci sono soltanto animali, orsi e leoni, ma nessun essere umano. Gli edifici stanno cadendo a pezzi.
L'umanita` e` stata pressoche' annientata da un virus nel 1996. I sopravvissuti si sono rifugiati sotto terra. Il mondo e` adesso dominato dagli animali. Sei dottori della civilta` sotterranea, gestita come una crudele dittatura, hanno bisogno di reperti dalla superficie per capire come immunizzare gli uomini. James viene scelto da sei sinistri dottori in un laboratorio pieno di poster e di schermi per la missione di tornare nel passato e trovare il virus originale. Per comunicare con loro potra` lasciare un messaggio su una segreteria telefonica, che loro controllano dal futuro.
Qualcosa pero` non funziona correttamente, perche' James si ritrova nel 1990. Viene arrestato per aver aggredito due poliziotti ed esaminato da una avvenente pischiatra, che lo fa ricoverare in un manicomio. James e` in condizioni orrende, ma non e` in realta` pazzo, anche se lo sembra (respira a pieni polmoni, come se non avesse respirato da anni, ma e` proprio cosi`) e la psichiatra intuisce che si tratta di qualcosa di diverso dal solito mentecatto. James chiede di poter fare una telefonata, soltanto una telefonata, al numero che gli hanno dato i dottori. In manicomio fa la conoscenza di Jeffrey (Brad Pitt), figlio di un celebre scienziato. Jeffrey e` un matto incontenibile, che ascolta il racconto di James, compreso il fatto che un virus distruggera` l'umanita`. James viene esaminato da una commissione di psichiatri. Tenta invano di convincerli che viene dal futuro per un'importante missione. Gli concedono pero` di fare la sua telefonata. Ma a quel numero risponde soltanto una massaia: e` il 1990, non il 1996, e probabilmente il numero di telefono non ha ancora cambiato proprietario. Un giorno Jeffrey riesce a procurargli la chiave per fuggire, poi scatena il finimondo offrendogli l'occasione. James e` pero` troppo debole e viene presto ripreso. Chiuso, sedato e legato in una cella angusta, scompare misteriosamente.
Si risveglia dopo aver rivisto un'altra volta la scena all'aeroporto, in cui lui e` bambino e un uomo viene ucciso e una donna bionda urla disperata. E` stato richiamato indietro dai sei dottori. Spiega che era finito nell'anno sbagliato. I dottori gli fanno vedere le fotografia di uno scienziato (e` il padre di Jeffrey) e gli fanno ascoltare un messaggio che parla di dodici scimmie lasciato su una segreteria telefonica da una donna. I dottori ci riprovano e promettono che questa volta non ci saranno sbagli. Ma qualcosa va di nuovo storto, perche' James si ritrova nudo in una trincea della prima guerra mondiale. Viene ferito a una gamba. Subito dopo pero` riemerge nel 1996. La psichiatra, Kathyrin, sta tenendo una conferenza sull'insanita` mentale, e mostra la fotografia di un uomo che venne rinvenuto in una trincea della prima guerra mondiale e non subi` gli effetti delle armi chimiche: e` lui, James. Alla fine della conferenza fra i tanti che le chiedono l'autografo c'e` anche un uomo dai capelli rossi.
All'uscita, viene aggredita proprio da James, che l'ha rintracciata da un articolo di giornale. James la costringe a guidare verso Philadelphia, dove l'esercito delle dodici scimmie sta per compiere l'attentato che annientera` l'umanita`, a partire da un certo numero di citta` sparse per il mondo. Lei e` spaventata, lo considera semplicemente un pazzo pericoloso. Assomiglia alla donna del sogno di James, ma e` bruna, non bionda. James le spiega di nuovo che viene dal futuro, che la sua missione e` di trovare il virus originale, prima che muti. Per questa ragione deve arrivare nel posto dove tutto ebbe inizio e arrivarci in tempo. Poi, una volta che lui abbia scoperto chi causo` la pestilenza, il futuro mandera` uno scienziato a studiare il virus originale, e in tal modo riuscira` a salvare la razza umana.
Naturalmente lei non gli crede. In quei giorni la nazione viene tenuta con il fiato sospeso dalla vicenda di un bambino che si crede sia caduto in un pozzo. James le dice che il bambino e` in realta` nascosto in un granaio. Lei vuole curare la sua ferita alla gamba ed estrae la pallottola. A Philadelphia James si infervora quando vede sulle mura di un quartiere il simbolo delle dodici scimmie. Trascina di peso K., che e` spaventata dal quartiere, dentro un teatro abbandonato. Vengono aggrediti da due uomini e James deve ucciderli. Sempre seguendo le istruzioni dei suoi dottori, James irrompe in un negozio esotico e fa domande sulle dodici scimmie. I tre ragazzi che lo gestiscono sono terrorizzati, ma sanno qualcosa. Accennano a Jeffrey, lo stesso conosciuto da James in manicomio.
James porta K in un bosco. Poi la chiude nel baule dell'auto e penetra nella villa in cui lo scienziato sta tenendo un discorso davanti a numerosi ospiti. James chiede di vedere Jeffrey. Jeffrey e` sempre matto, ma adesso e` libero e rispettato dalla servitu`. James gli spiega che ha capito il suo piano, non vuole fermarlo, non puo` fermarlo, vuole soltanto salvare il futuro. Jeffrey gli ride in faccia, e gli confessa di aver avuto l'idea del virus da lui stesso, quando erano in manicomio. E` stato lui, James, a spiegargli come fare per distruggere l'umanita`. James riesce a malapena a fuggire. Libera K, poi scompare prima che la polizia arrivi e nessuno sa spiegarsi come.
K viene interrogata dalla polizia. Improvvisamente comincia a credere a James, perche' sente in televisione che il bambino viene ritrovato in un granaio e la perizia svela che la pallottola proviene dalla prima guerra mondiale e lei riconosce James nella fotografia. La polizia naturalmente pensa che lei si sia semplicemente innamorata del suo rapitore e cerchi di difenderlo. Lei comunque telefona allo scienziato e gli chiede se sa nulla di un'idea di suo figlio per sterminare l'umanita`. Naturalmente lo scienziato le riattacca il telefono in faccia. Uno dei suoi assistenti e` il rosso che le aveva chiesto l'autografo.
Intanto James e` al cospetto dei sei dottori e chiede loro di poter completare la sua missione (forse anche perche' si e` innamorato della ragazza).
K torna al negozio, ma non le aprono. Dentro c'e` Jeffrey che sta aiutando i ragazzi a preparare il piano. K cerca James nei vicoli di quella zona. Improvvisamente James appare, ma questa volta le parti si sono invertite: James si e` adesso convinto di essere soltanto un pazzo, di aver immaginato tutta la storia dei sotterranei, mentre K crede che sia tutto vero. James vuole arrendersi alla polizia e farsi curare, ma K lo convince che lui viene davvero dal futuro.
K porta James in un hotel a ore, dove vengono pero` aggrediti da un protettore che scambia K per una prostituta e James deve picchiarlo a sangue. Per capire se James e` matto o meno, K propone di fare il famoso numero di telefono. Lo fa e le risponde un'agenzia che pulisce tappeti. K e` tutta contenta perche' pensa che davvero James si sia inventato tutto. Invece James le ripete parola per parola il messaggio che lei ha appena lasciato e che lui non poteva ascoltare: e` il messaggio che i dottori gli hanno fatto ascoltare in laboratorio. E` tutto vero, l'umanita` sta davvero per essere distrutta da un virus liberato dall'esercito delle dodici scimmie.
Intanto Jeffrey e i suoi compari si sono messi all'opera. Hanno rapito il padre di Jeffrey, che adesso capisce come il messaggio della psichiatra fosse vero. Jeffrey e i suoi compari irrompono nello zoo e liberano le bestie.
Quando K sente del misfatto, scoppia a ridere: l'esercito delle dodici scimmie voleva semplicemente liberare gli animali dello zoo. Non c'e` nessun virus e nessun pericolo per l'umanita`. James lascia un messaggio telefonico per i dottori: avete sbagliato tutto, io ho deciso di rimanere qui nel passato. K, innamoratasi di James, lo vuole portare in vacanza in Florida. Si trucca indossando una parrucca bionda e lo trucca mettendogli dei baffi posticci. Poi si avviano allegramente verso l'aeroporto, mentre le strade sono invase dalle belve liberate da Jeffrey.
All'aeroporto pero` James viene avvicinato da Jose, che gli da` una pistola. James capisce di nuovo che e` tutto vero. Jose non gli dice pero` chi debba uccidere. James non capisce come fa a sapere dell'accaduto. Jose gli ricorda che il messaggio che James ha appena lasciato cinque minuti prima e` stato lasciato trent'anni prima...
K intanto prende i biglietti. Dopo di lei c'e` il rosso, con una valigia che contiene i virus. Il rosso prende un biglietto per un volo che fara` scalo in tutte le citta` da cui si sparse il virus. Fra la folla c'e` anche James bambino...
K capisce che il rosso e` il terrorista. Urla a James di fermarlo. James salta la polizia, estrae la pistola e sta per sparare, ma viene crivellato dalla polizia. K si getta sul suo cadavere urlando disperata. Il tutto sotto gli occhi del bambino.
James adulto e` morto, ma per James bambino che e` li` a guardare la storia e` appena cominciata. Sull'aereo, di fianco al rosso, si siede la dottoressa, uno dei sei dottori del laboratorio: James e` riuscito a compiere la sua missione.

Then came Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), an adaptation of Hunter Thompson's 1971 novel, the fake biopic The Brothers Grimm (2005), the horror movie Tideland (2005), an adaptation of Mitch Cullin's novel, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), the best of this era, and the sci-fi movie The Zero Theorem (2013).

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), 25 years in the making, is a mixed bag. The story drifts in and out of the dreaming state, to the point that we never really know which one is which. After all, the scenes about the wakeful life are more grotesque than the scenes about the protagonist's dreams. The only part that appears to be true, normally true, is the time when the director first met the old man and the young girl and made his amateur movie. The film is also a metaphor for the artist who tries to mimic reality but ends up fighting windmills, i.e. embracing the unreal of his own artwork. It is also a metaphor for the artist who remains haunted by his original mission, and eventually realizes that he, not his fans, is the one who has become addicted to it. It is also a metaphor for the artist as a responsible citizen, responsible for the consequences of his artworks Legends never die. There is always someone who keeps them alive. And that someone is each of us. The movie is about the exact opposite of what its title implies.

While in a restaurant having dinner with his crew, film director Toby is introduced by his boss to a gypsy. The gypsy hands him a DVD of a black-and-white film titled "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote", which happens to be his own film, a film he made as a young man for a school assignment. Later the wife of the boss, Jacqui, invites him to her apartment to have sex: clearly they are lovers. But Toby is more interested in watching the DVD of his old movie. They are undressed and she fights for his attention. The boss, her husband, comes home unexptectedly. Toby grabs his DVD and runs out mostly undressed, hitting the man while opening the door, so that the husband doesn't see his face. At home Toby watches his DVD again. A flashback shows when, as a young man in Span, he met an old cobbler in his small quaint shop, and started shooting the film featuring this man, Javier, as Don Quixote. At a village restaurant he met a cute teenage waitress, Angelica, and flirted with her until her father Raul warned him to leave her alone. Back to the present, the boss is angry at Toby for not protecting his wife Jacqui: the boss thinks that the intruder was a thief, and suspects the gypsy. Toby runs away on a motorcycle. He realizes that they are shooting the film near the village where, ten years earlier, he shot "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" and walks again into the village restaurant. A flashback shows that, back then, the cobbler suddenly "became" Don Quixote to defend the teenage waitress from a crew member. Back to the present, Toby enters the restaurant. The owner, Raul, Angelica's father, tells him that Javier has gone mad and his daughter has moved away in search of glory, all Toby's fault. Toby runs away from Raul's anger. He rides away on his motorcycle but then stops again when he sees a sign "Quixote Vive". An old lady takes him to a run-down farm. She demands some money and then sets in motion a projector that shows Toby's film on a sheet. Behind the sheet, Javier starts reciting his old part. When Toby approaches him, Javier calls him Sancho Panza. It looks like the old woman locked him in this odd annex to the farm, and sells him as a tourist attraction. Javier tries to escape, the woman tasers him, the building catches fire and explodes, setting fire to a car, which cause the horse to go mad and drag it against other homes all of which catch fire. Toby leaves them behind and returns to the set. The boss has called the police. He demands that Toby too identifies the gypsy as the thief who entered Jacqui's bedroom. Toby cowardly does so.The gypsy is therefore arrested by the police. The two cops, however, are already aware of the fire caused by a motorcyclist and arrest Toby too. As the police car drives away, they run into Javier, riding a horse and pretending to be Don Quixote. He demands that Toby, his loyal Sancho Panza, be released. Quixote attacks them with sword and spear. The gypsy gets control of the car and runs away. The cops fight Toby and one accidentally kills the other. Now Toby is a wanted man. A police helicopter searches for him. He has to hide in a garbage dump. Javier/Quixote rides in all happy. Thinking that Toby is wearing a disguise, Javier gives him traditional clothes and a donkey. Quixote guides Toby through the desert landscape. Toby tries in vain to talk sense to Quixote/Javier, with the only result of making Javier really angry. Javier even pulls out the sword until Toby apologizes. A girl passes them riding a bicycle against a backdrop of windmills. Javier rushes to fight the windmills and gets injured. The girl takes them to her house but that's only a camp of homeless people that Javier mistakes for a castle. Toby keeps asking for a telephone but there is none. The leader of the community, Berbero, welcomes them and offers them hospitality. Toby, however, suspects that they are Islamic terrorists and at night tries to escape. He fights with Berbero but then guards on horses attack the compound, led by the two dead cops, now turned into costumed guards. The camp now looks like a rural village of the Quixote era. The guards, holding torches, show Berbero pictures of a wanted man: Toby! While Toby hides, Javier has hallucinations and attacks some bags of wine with his sword. While the guards are searching the building, the gypsy reappears and helps Toby hide, thanks to the distraction of the spilled wine. Toby wakes up: it was just a dream. Berbero is not a terrorist, but a very friendly man, and Javier is already entertaining the camp with his stories. Berbero tells Toby that the group are not terrorists but illegal immigrants. Javier and Toby ride out in the countryside again, one on the horse and one on the donkey, just when the police raid the camp. Toby falls on a horse carcass and in the saddle's bag he finds old Spanish gold coins in a place with warning signs of a mine. He looks for a place to hide the gold but falls inside the mine and down a ravine losing most of the coins and ending in a cave. He finds a scantily dressed Angelica bathing in a waterfall just outside the cave. When he first met her she was 15 and he promised her a career in cinema, and now she's angry that he didn't deliver. She now is the lover of a rich Russian. Javier finds them but Angelica leaves fearful when mysterious man on a horse takes pictures of them. Angelica and this man ride away together and Toby, noticing the change in the tone of her voice, guesses that she needs help, so Toby convinces Javier to follow them. They find Angelica's scarf and keep moving in the desert landscape. Javier hears the Muslim call to prayer when sheep bleating and sees a Moorish fort where there's only a ruined castle, and thinks the sheep are welcoming Muslim peasants. A knight wearing armor and helm appears, and soon Javier challenges him. They fight a duel on horse, Javier wins accidentally and is about to finish him when people appear. The knight removes his helmet and reveals that it's Raul, and the other people are the old woman and other friends, who have disguised themselves as villagers of Quixote era to lure Javier to go back home. But flashbacks of the black and white movie (in which he was caged and taken back to the village) scare him and he rides away. Raul and the others are angry at Toby for causing Javier to go mad. It's another dream. A shepherd wakes up Toby. He walks away but soon he collapses. Toby wakes up when he hears Javier shouting. Javier is still in the ruined castle, and is whipping himself to prove his love to Dulcinea. Toby takes Javier to the river and tries to wash his wounds. Riders ride in through the forest. They look like a party of aristocrats from another Quixote-era dream, but instead the veiled woman is Jacqui who tells Toby of a costume party organized by the rich Russian at a real castle. Jacqui is excited that Javier truly believes to be Quixote, a perfect character for the party. They all ride into the castle with many other guests. Javier happily follows them, now convinced that Jacqui is not Dulcinea, but convinced that the costume party is in his honor. The Russian tycoon welcomes him like the guest of honor. Toby notices the Russian mistreating Angelica. The boss is there, also wearing a costume, and introduces him to the Russian tycoon: the boss is trying to sign a business deal with him. The Russian is jealous that Toby knew Angelica when she was a teenager. The Russian shows Toby the pictures that were taken when Angelica was bathing in the waterfall. Then he throws food on the floor and asks Angelica to lick it off the floor while he stares straight into Toby's eyes. Toby follows Angelica outside and offers to rescue her from the Russian. Angelica sarcastically tells him that she's happy because now she has everything that Tony originally offered to her. Toby offers to buy her and she throws a dart at him, narrowly missing him. Suddenly he finds that his pockets have the gold coins of the dream. The Russian entertains Javier, surrounded by body guards wearing dark suites and sunglasses. Jacqui sits next to Toby and tries to touch him under the table next to her unsuspecting husband. After the dances, the gypsy leads a group of veiled women who impersonate historical characters, starting with Angelica pretending to be a princess victimized by Javier's sworn enemy, the poor woman reduced by a spell to a bearded and moustached monster. The show becomes more and more eccentric and exotic, with Javier the willing subject of the comedy. Javier is made to mount a giant wooden horse and asked to travel blindfolded to the Moon in order to break the spell. Everybody claps and laughs at the old man who believes this is real life. Later Toby confronts Angelica and accuses her of having humiliated the old man. While the guests are asked to pile up all the furniture to create a giant pyre, Angelica wearing a sexy red dress dances flamenco and slaps repeatedly Toby who begs her to flee with him. Then suddenly she kisses him and accepts to run away with him. They steal three horses and look for Javier. But Javier refuses to follow them and Angelica is easily captured. Toby is knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, the party has turned into an esoteric ceremony. The guests are seated, the priest blesses the pyre, and Angelica is nowhere to be found. Toby sees the woman in the red dress but she runs away and he chases her through the castle. He finds the gypsy dressed like an angel and armed with a bow who helps him again. Finally he finds Angelica. But she removes the mask and it's Jacqui who wants to have sex. Toby realizes that the real Angelica is shouting for help. He sees Angelica strapped to a cross being taken to the pyre in front of all the guests, but Jacqui grabs Toby in front of everybody including her husband. Toby expects the husband to attack him but instead Javier walks into the bedroom and Toby strikes him. Javier falls down the window, mortally wounded. Before dying, he gives Toby his sword. Angelica's sacrifice is not real and she is soon released. The Russian mocks the death and tells him to leave the house. Toby and the dead Javier are left alone in the rain while the guests leave. The next morning, Angelica and Toby ride away in the desert on horses, carrying Javier's body on a third horse, determined to bury him at the village. Suddenly, Toby sees three giant men attacking them and charges against them. He can barely sting a toe and a finger of one giant: he's actually fighting windmills. Injured and exhausted, he collapses to the ground and calls Angelica Sancho Panza. She tries to remind him who he is and who she is, but then she accepts to be Sancho Panza and they ride away in the sunset. And we hear Javier repeat what he said during the film: that Quixote never dies.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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