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Showing posts with label David Rappaport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Rappaport. Show all posts

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Faber & Faber's [Film Director x] on x series

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

15 August

After a special screening of Time Bandits (1981) the other night, I have sought out Gilliam on Gilliam (edited by Ian Christie).

I did so, because these books are an excellent sourcebook of what, in interview with a suitable person from the world of film (in some way), directors have to say about their works, almost invariably grouping comments by film (or period) - I cannot commend them more warmly, and would certainly not be where I am without Woody Allen on Woody Allen (edited by Stig Björkman).

In the chapter that deals with Bandits, I have learnt, for example, how :

* Connery helped Gilliam with filming in Morocco, when there was more to do with shooting the fight than two days allowed, and the older man simplified his task for him

* Sir Ralph put Gilliam through various tests, both before accepting being God, and then in God-like mode, but was still a trouper

* The scene where the mirror / boundary that separates the Bandits from the fortress had not been originally written (and, if it were conceivable, more screen business, this time with Edwardian spiderwomen, had bridged from escaping the giant to getting to the fortress), but had arisen from David Rappaport's aloofness from the rest of his team

* The ending would have been different, if Connery had first not used up his fourteen days in the UK (and so it could not be shot as planned), and, because Gilliam then nabbed Connery when he came to the UK to see his accountant

* Palin had written the role of Robin Hood for himself, but had accepted that Cleese would be fine when billing / financial reasons had required

* The scene in Holy Grail where the animals are thrown over the castle walls was done (as this information impinges on effects in this film), and also the cage scene in Bandits

* Gilliam says that he had never read C. S. Lewis (or known of his use of wardrobes*)

As I hope that I may have demonstrated, a way of learning about films from the inside, and a book in which I shall next be reading about Brazil (1987)...

NB The British Film Institute (@BFI) now has an interview with Gilliam on its web-site...


* I think that Christe errs, in his end-notes, in considering The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first of the books(though the ordering and publication history scarcely make matters clear).

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)