An intense film about time travel, this sci-fi entry was directed by Terry Gilliam, a member of the comedy troupe Monty Python. The film stars Bruce Willis as James Cole, a prisoner of the state in the year 2035 who can earn parole if he agrees to travel back in time and thwart a devastating plague. The virus has wiped out most of the Earth’s population and the remainder live underground because the air is poisonous. Returning to the year 1990, six years before the start of the plague, Cole is soon imprisoned in a psychiatric facility because his warnings sound like mad ravings. There he meets a scientist named Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) and Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), the mad son of an eminent virologist (Christopher Plummer). Cole is returned by the authorities to the year 2035, and finally ends up at his intended destination in 1996. He kidnaps Dr. Railly in order to enlist her help in his quest. Cole discovers graffiti by an apparent animal rights group called the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, but as he delves into the mystery, he hears voices, loses his bearings, and doubts his own sanity. He must figure out if Goines, who seems to be a raving lunatic, holds the key to the puzzle.
Terrence Vance Gilliam was born in Minnesota on 22 November 1940. After eleven early years of a Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer-type childhood (his description), his family moved to LA. There he was a witness to the Hollywood system, from the fringes. As a kid, his drawing and cartooning skills developed. After graduating from school where he apparently excelled at pole vaulting, Gilliam went to the Occidental College, studying Physics, which he later changed to Politics. In his last year at college, Gilliam sent copies of his college magazine work to comic maestro Harvey Kurtzman in New York.
Kurtzman was running a magazine called Help!, and was impressed. When writer Charles Alverson left the magazine, a vacancy arose, and Gilliam took a job there. He spent the next three years there – writing, designing and drawing – but being paid very little. During the time at Help!, he met John Cleese, who was roped in to star in a photo-story spoof – as a guilt-ridden man involved in an… read more
"La Jetée belongs to a genre that breeds opportunity for elaborate vision and little thought; the film is responsibly contrary to both assessments
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Book of Revelation; Cassandra complex; time travel; deadly virus; born to shop; mad scientist; mad son of mad scientist; must get to console,push button… read review
I just sat down and watched Twelve Monkeys because I saw it sitting in my DVD collection. It was one of those movies I went and saw with my parents when I was 11 or 12 years old and it probably didn’t… read review