"You Can't Change Anything": Freedom and Control in Twelve Monkeys

Gerry Canavan, Marquette University

"You Can't Change Anything": Freedom and Control in Twelve Monkeys," in The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It's a Mad World. Eds. Jeff Birkenstein, Anna Froula, and Karen Randell. New York: Wallflower Press, 2013: 92-103. Publisher Link.


Terry Gilliam has been making movies for more than forty years, and this volume analyzes a selection of his thrilling directorial work, from his early films with Monty Python to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnussus (2009). The frenetic genius, auteur, and social critic continues to create indelible images on screen--if, that is, he can get funding for his next project. Featuring eleven original essays from an international group of scholars, this collection argues that when Gilliam makes a movie, he goes to war: against Hollywood caution and convention, against American hyper-consumerism and imperial militarism, against narrative vapidity and spoon-fed mediocrity, and against the brutalizing notion and cruel vision of the "American Dream."