Time Bandits

Ardently pro-imagination and pro-childhood, writer-director Terry Gilliam's second solo feature (1981) makes the viewer wish he could dream like a kid again. For the sake of brevity, let's assume that there were some mix-ups during Creation Week and that the clumsy underlings left in charge of Trees and Shrubs were punished but took their revenge by stealing a Time Map. This diagram shows where the Supreme Carpenter screwed up--little spots where you can pop in and out of the centuries. One of the Time Holes happens to be in the modern-day suburban bedroom of little Kevin (Craig Warnock), who, snatched up by the greedy bandits, blithely leaves behind his boring parents and their talk of newfangled toasters and superfast microwave ovens. Befitting Gilliam's tenure in the Monty Python troupe, Time Bandits flaunts a Pythonesque assortment of strange characters and non sequitur events, not to mention a cast that includes John Cleese and Michael Palin (who also helped on the script). But, like Gilliam's Jabberwocky (1977), it's much sweeter. Kevin is undoubtedly the director reborn--or maybe Terry Gilliam never grew up at all. (PG) PHIL ANDERSON

April 25-27, 9:30 p.m.; Fri., April 29, 7 p.m.; Sat., April 30, 7 p.m., 2011

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