Jabberwocky and the Joys of Nonsense

After honing his madcap voice as a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, and codirecting the beloved Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Terry Gilliam struck out on his own, embarking on a solo directorial career with the brilliantly antic medieval fantasy Jabberwocky. In conceiving the surreal satire, which follows a bumbling peasant (Gilliam’s fellow Python alum Michael Palin) on the tail of a menacing dragon, the filmmaker looked to a favorite piece of literature: Lewis Carroll’s sonorous nonsense poem “Jabberwocky.” In a documentary on our new edition of the film, Gilliam, Palin, and other key collaborators discuss the process of bringing Carroll’s imaginative spirit to the screen. Watch the clip above for more on how the writer’s off-the-wall verse became the film’s animating spirit.

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