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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

‘Thank you, Einstein’: Why You Can’t Turn Back Time

‘Thank you, Einstein’: Why You Can’t Turn Back Time

Chapter:
(p.17) 3. ‘Thank you, Einstein’: Why You Can’t Turn Back Time
Source:
12 Monkeys
Author(s):

Susanne Kord

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781999334000.003.0003

This chapter analyses Terry Gilliam's drawing for the opening credits of 12 Monkeys, which shows monkeys following each other in a never-ending spiral. It discusses 12 Monkeys's heftiest hint at the one point without which it cannot be properly understood as the film does not present time as linear. It also talks about how non-linear time is associated with time travel and futuristic scenarios, and how the idea has been around for centuries. The chapter mentions the Aztec calendar to which Gilliam's drawing bears some resemblance and relied on an interconnected tripartite system that assigned each day a unique combination of a name, number, symbol and patron deity. It talks about the hot debate in the film about linear time that becomes the acid test for the entire film.

Keywords:   12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam, opening credits, monkeys, non-linear time, Aztec calendar, time travel

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