He is right about it being a new religion and that this woke crowd are similar to Calvinists. I wish he was a less problematic person, I really love some of his movies but both of the children of the Time Bandits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen said they were mistreated on set.

I am very sorry to hear that, but it won't change my appreciation (I am not sure enjoyment is the right word) of his films. So I prefer the German version of the Baron from 1943 (?) which is wonderful and very funny, so much so it's easy to forget under what circumstances it was made. Likewise Birth of a Nation is a terrific film qua film, technically, it was innovative and daring in its day. Clouzot's film The Raven, again made under Nazi occupation in 1943, is superb, and its theme (a poison-pen writer) comes dangerously close to the problem of French citizens using the informer system anonymously to get back at their enemies, who were also French citizens—which I think is why he was blackballed after the war, not because he continued to work during the Occupation. In general I don't think art-forms come with moral criteria for success attached as regards either their content or how they were made. Rather such criteria can make us think about their impact in a different way, e.g. (most obviously) we now see a lot of Western religious art as infused with sadomasochism or as providing sexualised, pornographic or almost pornographic imagery for male viewers. Technical criteria might still qualify such works as masterpieces.

[–] spacykate 2 points Edited

I haven't watched Time Bandits or Baron Munchausen since I found out how terrible these films were for their children stars. Maybe I'll watch them again and enjoy them sometime. I agree with you that important and groundbreaking films can be made by terrible people, but there is a difference between accepting that great films can be made by terrible people and personally enjoying an evening watching said film. Like I had to watch Triumph of the Will for a class but I wouldn't sit down on a Friday night with a beer and watch it for funsies.

I know what you mean...it's a matter of learning, duty almost, not enjoyment. Except in the case of the German Munchhausen. It's an absolute delight. There aren't many films like that. In early Soviet cinema the ideological element is inescapable but it has not yet become codified and iron-clad and is actually interesting and thought-provoking—I mean films from the 1920s. East German sci-fi is another, weirdly. But sci-fi, I guess, was one way in which an artist could let his or her imagination run wild without running afoul of the authorities, as Lem did in Poland. I must find out if there are any other sci-fi writers from the former Soviet bloc. Do you know any? or sci-fi films?

[Gilliam] calling #MeToo a “witch-hunt”, including the claim that some of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims were “adults who made choices”.


I ask if he has changed his mind about #MeToo being a witch-hunt. “It was. Despite the monstrousness of Harvey Weinstein — yes, victims were there — but there were also people who benefited. Hollywood is full of adults who are ambitious. That’s all I said; I’m not saying crimes have not been committed.” He points to the former senator Al Franken (now back with a podcast and a touring comedy show) and Pixar’s John Lasseter (now with a film, Luck, with Apple) as men unfairly felled by #MeToo. “John was accused of hugging too much!” Gilliam says. “There are people who are victims on both sides. But when the crimes are so minor, let’s be careful about the punishment.”

Often, though, I say, victims had no power. “People say they have no power when they assume they have no power,” he responds, telling me of an actress friend who escaped Weinstein’s clutches. “She talked her way out. She was a tough lady. [But] I can see a young actress being frightened and not knowing what to do because ‘is this going to ruin my career?’”

But Weinstein did ruin the careers of actresses who refused his advances, I say, which means that even if a woman consented, she was still under duress. “He’s a f***ing monster,” Gilliam replies. “I said that and I wasn’t quoted on that! What I don’t like is mob mentality. And I don’t guard my speech very often — even with journalists. I always regret it.”

Lol, that journalist had to steer Gilliam hard-a-starboard on all that misogyny… he got it right on the trans debacle, though… big, fat broken clock.