By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 13, 2015
The other week, I went to a used bookstore and traded in some books and DVDs for different books and DVDs.
One of my new books was Next by James Hynes. I also got four movies in three DVD cases: A Will Smith science fiction action movie twofer containing Independence Day and I, Robot; the apocalyptic time-travel masterpiece 12 Monkeys; and Ripley’s Game, which is based on one of Patricia Highsmith’s novels.
As noted in my previous post, the script for Ripley’s Game was co-written by director Liliana Cavani with Charles McKeown. What I didn’t realize before I clicked on McKeown’s Internet Movie Database page was that he connects the last two movies that I wrote about on this blog.
McKeown did not work on or appear in 12 Monkeys. But he has worked with Terry Gilliam, that film’s director, a number of times.
Together with award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard, Gilliam and McKeown penned the script for Gilliam’s excellent 1985 film Brazil. McKeown has a small role as Lime, the protagonist’s comically labor-averse coworker, in the film.
The director and actor collaborated on Gilliam’s 1988 movie, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: The duo co-wrote the script, and McKeown again appeared in a supporting role.
Two decades later, the men reunited for a 2009 picture, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Again, Gilliam directed, and he and McKeown co-wrote the screenplay. McKeown had a small part in the film that ended up in a deleted scene, according to IMDb.
McKeown also played roles in a few other films on which Gilliam has worked: Time Bandits, which Gilliam directed, and Life of Brian, the Monty Python feature that Gilliam helped write.
A whole lot of things in our universe connect to disparate other things in unexpected ways. The connections that I found here probably aren’t particularly meaningful. Still, I enjoyed finding them!