Every movie has its own “making of” story, but, no matter how fascinating the account, it’s unusual for the unexpurgated truth to emerge into the public realm. 1995’s Twelve Monkeys is a rare exception. Director Terry Gilliam, intrigued by the concept of having a record of the creative process (and wanting “witnesses” in case the studio attempted to renege on a deal and wrest away control), hand-picked film makers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe to fashion a behind-the-scenes documentary. The result, The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, is a fascinating examination of what goes on when the cameras are turned off. And, while The Hamster Factor began as a look at the making of Twelve Monkeys, it quickly became a portrait of the creative genius behind the process: ex-Monty Python member and maverick film maker, Gilliam —The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys
Former Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam is one of cinema’s premier fantasists, a creator of films notable for their stunning visual style and their iconoclastic sensibility. With Brazil, Gilliam created the ultimate film of bureaucratic hell, and then experienced his own version of the narrative when Universal tried to bury the film’s release. Ironically, the same studio later financed and released Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, which was the number-one film in the country when Gilliam spoke at the Museum. He greeted full-house audiences twice that weekend—with 12 Monkeys and Brazil—the latter on the day of the blizzard of ‘96.