Okay... gun to my head, clock is ticking, what's my favorite film?
I'm either going to say "Brazil" or "Lawrence of Arabia." Both answers are right, and it just depends on the degree of cynicism I allow myself that day as to which one I give.
When I was contacted the week before Comic-Con about the possibility of sitting down with Terry Gilliam at some point in San Diego, I thought it would, at best, turn out to be a ten-minute stop on an assembly line of quick interviews about "The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus," the still-unsold new film from Gilliam featuring the final performance of Heath Ledger. And I was perfectly fine with the idea of just getting ten minutes with him.
Instead, I got a full hour, and the result is one of my favorite filmmaker interviews I've done. I really do prefer being able to have a longer conversation with someone, because you get past the early sort of perfunctory stuff and start to really dig into things. I've loved Gilliam's work since the first time I saw "Time Bandits" in 1981. I was 11 years old, and hooked immediately. I've always wanted to chat with him, and near the end of this hour, I felt like I'd finally said or asked pretty much everything pressing, everything that I'd been saving up over the years. It was satisfying in a way few interviews ever are for me.
I hope you guys enjoy it as well. Here's the full text, from the moment Quint got up and walked away at the end of his interview. I stepped up as Terry stood for a moment and we shook hands. He had his hair pulled back into a ponytail, and that infamous devil's grin of his was firmly in place as I introduced myself.
[more after the jump]