12 MONKEYS. Terry Gilliam, dir. USA: Atlas Entertainment (prod.) / Universal (dist.), 1995 (© and initial US release) / 1996 (general US release). David Peoples and Janet Peoples, script. "Inspired by the Film La Jetée written by Chris Marker" (The Jetty [vt. The Pier], 1963, 29 min., also prod. and dir. C. Marker). Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stow, Brad Pitt, featured players.
An important dystopian film. See for mise en scène of the post-holocaust, mechanized-underworld future (called in prod. "Eternal Night"), and for imagery of superimposition of the mechanical and electronic upon the human (including an MRI machine in the world of 1990 and television in worlds of 1990, 1996, and early 21st century). For the funky future, horrific superimposition, and strong parallels in presentation of the antiRomantic theme, cf. and contrast TG's BRAZIL. For the theme of oligarchy associated with mechanisms and the destruction of the beauty and freedom of nature, cf. Brazil. Also note close narrative, thematic, and visual parallels with the film version of Millennium and with M. Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time, and thematic and visual parallels with Gilliam's TIME BANDITS. Handled in some detail and put into the context of Gilliam's canon in Cinefantastique 27.6 (Feb. 1996). (RDE, 08/01/96)