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Learning from Movies: Time Bandits

In 1981, Terry Gilliam released a film.

It was only the third full-length, feature, film that he ever directed. It was a surreal meditation on the nature of reality, childhood perception, and dream lives.

It was titled, Time Bandits.

Now, I understand: Some people like Terry Gilliam movies, and some people don’t.

If you liked Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Brothers Grimm, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and you haven’t seen Time Bandits (1981, 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, where 73% of the audience like it), then you simply must see Time Bandits.

If you want to see what Kenny “R2D2” Baker did after Star Wars, you should see Time Bandits.

If you don’t like Terry Gilliam movies, but you like broad comedy where little people hit each other, especially if you’re a fan of Sean Connery, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm, David Warner, or Sir Ralph Richardson, you should read on after the break.

  • Did you know that the ancient Greek warriors had to learn 44 different ways of unarmed combat?
  • You must eat your food. And then wait for it to go down.
  • You never start on “one.” Whoever heard of anybody starting anything on “one”?
  • We agreed: No leader.
  • You never know if something is meant to be eaten until you’ve eaten it.
  • No matter how much good work you do, one Pink Bunkadoo and you’re sacked.
  • The fabric of the universe is far from perfect. It was a bit of botched job, you see. We only had seven days to make it.

  • Personal problems can be assuaged with fruit.
  • Heroes! What do they know about a day’s work?

  • Soon I shall have understanding of video cassette recorders and car telephones. And when I have understanding of them, I shall have understanding of computers. And when I have understanding of computers, I shall be the Supreme Being!
  • God isn’t interested in technology. He knows nothing of the potential of the microchip or the silicon revolution. Look how He spends His time, forty-three species of parrots! Nipples for men! Slugs! HE created slugs! They can’t hear. They can’t speak. They can’t operate machinery. I mean, are we not in the hands of a lunatic?

  • If I were creating a world, I wouldn’t have messed around with butterflies or daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o’clock, day one.
  • It never warns you, ‘Get off before the iceberg’, on the ticket.
  • You try being beastly and terrifying… you can only get one hour sleep a night because your back hurts, and you daren’t cough unless you want to pull a muscle.
  • Be grateful for what you’ve got. Greed leads to the ultimate Evil.
  • Check all your resources before you give up hope. The thing you forgot could save your life.
  • Loyalty and friendship make this life worth living, and adventures worth having.
  • Death is no excuse for laying off work.
  • The Supreme Being is not entirely dim.
  • There’s a reason for Evil. It’s something to do with free will.
  • It’s evil! Don’t touch it!

Don’t make history. Steal it.
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bewareoftheblog

    July 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    The ending of TIME BANDITS scared the crap out of me when I saw it at the age of 9. I think I learned about existentialism from the movie.

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