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Archive for March 10th, 2020

By J.D. Lafrance

Filmmaker Terry Gilliam once remarked in an interview that “when times are bad, I can’t believe you can live without fantasy or imagination.” This statement seems particularly valid in contemporary society when you realize all of the horrible things that are occurring. One only has to look in the newspapers or watch the news on television to see how rapidly society seems to be collapsing. The strength of Gilliam’s films – from his work with Monty Python to his own films – are their ability to transport the viewer to another world altogether. This does not mean his films leave behind all traces of reality; like any good fairy tale they play with and manipulate reality. To this end, watching a film like The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989) is akin to reading one of those great fairy tales from your childhood. His film is the cinematic equivalent of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series or J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy in its ability to tell a good story, present colorful and unusual characters, and take us to places we can only dream about. Like these books, the film is set on an epic scale, spanning all realms, from the legendary city of Constantinople, to the Moon, to the insides of a giant sea monster.

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