‘I Know My Films Work Better for Some:’ Terry Gilliam on ‘Quixote’ Criticisms

LOS CABOS, Mexico — In town to promote “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” celebrated writer-director Terry Gilliam met with Variety for a conversation in which the Monty Python alum laughed more than he talked, addressed graciously the good and bad of film criticism, and taking silly work seriously.

Gilliam started off stressing that he is not, nor has he ever been, a critics’ director. At least not all critics.

“Every film I’ve made always splits, usually the critics even more than the audience. Even with ‘Brazil,’ when we first started screening half the audience would walk out. Now when we show ‘Brazil’ it’s this classic and all that bullshit, all that crap,” he said, invoking his Minnesota roots with his choice and pronunciation of that last word.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” he continued. “I know that my films work better for some people. There is a certain way of approaching life or looking at the world. They get on the ride with me and go all the way.”

And Gilliam, in his typical thick-skinned way, is O.K. with the critics that don’t get his films, so long as their take is original and thought out.

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