I’m not writing much– the Love Conspiracy retreat this weekend wore me out!
But here I go– my favorite movie– or at least a top choice!
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
This gargantuan production from Terry Gilliam (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil, Time Bandits) is a lavish exploration of story and adventure, testing the boundaries of reality and believability. It is based on the stories of Baron Munchausen, a historical figure known for his tall tales and has become one himself. The film is well reviewed by some, but it was also one of the biggest flops of Terry Gilliam’s career, going about $20 million over budget and only earning about $8 million in the US domestic box office. It seemed there was terrible disagreement between Gilliam and the others involved in the production. Still, the story and artfulness is so powerful and odd, it is high on my list.
I love the grandiose imagination and flight of fantasy found within the character of the Baron. I love the band of unbelievable comrades that come out of the scenery to save the day. I love the role of Sally, who believes and sees everything that the grown-ups cannot see.
This is the third in Gilliams Trilogy of Imagination– the first involves a young boy in Time Bandits (1981), the next a thirty-something year old in Brazil (1985), and the final is the old wizened Baron. All the films are about struggles in society and the role of imagination in escaping the mess.
One of my favorite moments in the film comes near the end, as the Baron tries to show them the truth of their situation, and he dares them to look beyond the walls of their city, the confining of the maleficent government, and “OPEN THE GATES!”
This film tests boundaries, challenges assumptions, and isn’t always good (some inappropriate content)– but it is truly enlightening and enlivening. I first saw it in Norway when I was 8 or 9, on Channel 4 or 5– and it has stuck with me over all the years.
Give it a try sometime. You may like it, you may hate it (like most of my friends), you may understand me better afterwards (as my friends Brandon and Lisa said), or you may love it with me. That is all.
BUT Now I want to know your favorite movie/s. Could you post the title, a brief description, how you first discovered this movie, and why you love it so. It’d be fun to hear from you all! Post it up!