So today I was talking to a friend about upcoming movies. I mentioned I was psyched about Sin City 2 and that Gilliam is working on Don Quixote. So I asked him if he knew who Gilliam was, he said no. I ran off Brazil, Baron VunMunchausen, Time Bandits, Twelve Monkeys and when none of those rang a bell I tried Brothers Grimm. Even that got a No. So I mentioned he was one of the pythons and directed their movies. I decided then to try to explain Brazil and asked “Have you ever read 1984?” To which I got a surprising No. Animal Farm? No. Orwell ring a bell at all? And a No in response. So then I asked if he had ever heard of Don Quixote the classic Spanish story of the old knight attacking the windmill and he looked at me like I had 5 heads. At this point I just gave up.
I don’t know what they are teaching in school these days. But for someone to have never heard the expression Orwellian before. 1984 might be a bit long, but Animal Farm is just as much a classic and readable in a few hours. I just consider Orwell such a strong influence in my life that I’m shocked a school wouldn’t even bother with Animal Farm as required reading at some point. Even more so, how do you never gain a passing knowledge of Don Quixote. Its old enough and famous enough to have parodies and have a cultural impact that somewhere along the line you’ve had to heard of it. I blame No Child Left Behind for this mess.
In the end though, how can you be alive without ever seeing a Gilliam Film other then the Python films?