12 Monkeys

There is only one time in my life when I went to a movie theatre, saw a film, and had the experience afterward that absolutely nobody wanted to leave the movie theatre afterward. And that is when I saw Terry Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys”. The movie ended, the credits rolled, and people simply didn’t leave. Rather, they gathered in the lobby, and proceeded to have intense conversations about what they had just seen.

It was interesting to observe, and I can’t recall ever seeing quite the same reaction to any other film. Nobody wanted to step out of the lobby and into the street, because that would have signaled the end of the experience. Instead, we stood huddling in groups of four or six, and kept talking about the movie, arguing back and forth about the theme, the ending, what it all might have meant.

You could argue that, by some measure, this is the sign of a very good movie.

3 thoughts on “12 Monkeys”

  1. I’ve unfortunately never seen it when it came out in the cinemas, but it is _that_ kind of a movie for sure.
    I’ve also never had the opportunity to see Brazil in the cinema, but I do remember being quite stunned when the end credits rolled on the VHS. I just sat there for five or ten minutes not moving at all.

    And that certainly is the sign of a good movie.

  2. Yes, definitely a rare and great movie. But let’s not forget where it got its inspiration from; Chris Marker’s La JeteĆ©, which I can look at over and over again and find wonderful ideas in. šŸ˜‰

  3. Well yes, of course I completely agree with you. Seeing La JeteĆ© for the first time was one of the most profound and eye-opening experiences of my life. 12 Monkeys is merely a great movie, whereas La JeteĆ© is a profound work of art. And yet I suspect that most people who generally go to movies wouldn’t be able to sit through La JeteĆ© until the end.

    Gilliam’s achievement was that he managed to create a popular film, one that could pack theatres, yet which could also turn people’s heads inside out and get them furiously thinking and arguing. Not many films have managed to be both of those things at once.

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