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12 Monkeys$
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Susanne Kord

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781999334000

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781999334000.001.0001

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Pushing the (Reset) Button: Why You Can’t Start Over

Pushing the (Reset) Button: Why You Can’t Start Over

(p.13) 2. Pushing the (Reset) Button: Why You Can’t Start Over
12 Monkeys

Susanne Kord

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explains why 12 Monkeys was an unqualified commercial success, but remains Terry Gilliam's least understood film, both at and beyond the plot level. It analyses several genres that 12 Monkeys played with, such as apocalypse and post-apocalypse movies, sci-fi, nuclear noir, and geek dystopia. It also discusses time travel, free will versus determinism, and mental illness as themes of 12 Monkeys. The chapter mentions conspiracy theories that were included in the film, such as the impossibility of human closeness and the nature of reality. It examines intertextual links identified in literature that range from Frank Baum's The Magic of Oz to Omar Khayyám's The Rubáiyat, the Book of Revelations, Virgil's Aeneid, Hesiod, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Keywords:   12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam, commercial success, apocalypse movie, nuclear noir, mental illness, post-apocalypse movie, time trave, free will, determinism

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