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Video Friday #3: Storytime (Terry Gilliam, 1968)

shoutOut on 21/9/12 by travis.lyle1 in peeps

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, wherever you are out there on planet Leap. It's either just about the weekend, or you're already moaning off a ripe hangover somewhere on the other side of the International Date Line. Welcome to Video Friday number 3 and have we got something fantastic to sink your eyeteeth into today.

A long time ago before CGI and Photoshop and Pixar and even pixels for that matter, the realm of animation was the domain of hardworking madmen (and mad women) who spent hours illustrating, sculpting, colouring or cutting each frame used in stop-frame animation. Disney (whose incredible collaboration with Salvador Dali we featured last week), of course, was among the great forerunners who revolutionised animation for the masses, as were many illustrators (such as Chuck Jones and Tex Avery) whose work continues to be viewed by millions the world over. Following in these big footsteps were many others, but few among them could be classed in the same category as the odd-looking guy who would go on to become the lone American in Monty Python's Flying Circus. Terry Gilliam is now known as much for his time with Python as he is for his amazing (yet not always profitable) features, among which are included some of the greatest films of our time: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Fisher King, The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, Brazil and Jabberwocky, among others.

But oh! Wait! Long before any of those were so much as a twinkle in Terry's canny eye, he was an animator, who spent endless hours cutting and pasting (literally) hundreds of frames to create the end results that would see him earn the attention of, and inclusion in, the Python team. The proof of that pudding is the entirely mad, beautifully surreal and totally irreverent animations which bridge so many absurd Monty Python skits in a suitably unhinged manner.

I think we can all agree that they're fantastic and they've made countless millions laugh their asses off for many years. Fair anough but then, we've all seen those, right? Right. Which is why, on today's Video Friday, we bring you a piece of Terry Gilliam's earliest work, titled 'Storytime'. It's from 1968, and it's the charming story of a cockroach. Named Don. And hands, which which stay out late carousing and misbehaving. And a man named Albrt Einstein, who earned the scorn of his neighbours on account of being named Albert Einstein but not having discovered the Theory Of Relativity. But of course.


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