HEAVY MIDNITES: Twelve Monkeys

Settle in for a sci-fi scorcher, a meticulously-constructed, labyrinthine mind-shocker so hot it’ll flip your top and have you questioning your own reality. A vision launched from the genius of Brazil director Terry Gilliam, Twelve Monkeys is inspired chaos, a poetic hallucination of a dark future (and past) that’s a potent mix of time travel adventure and lunatic fantasy that works both as a manic fever dream and a thrilling whodunit. When Bruce Willis is sent back in time to investigate a deadly plague, he’s catapulted too far and hospitalized as insane. You know what they say, science isn’t an exact science. Featuring an intense and convincingly grungy Willis, a mile-a-minute, deliriously hyper and hypnotically wall-eyed Brad Pitt plus Madeleine Stowe as a psychiatrist / audience surrogate trying to piece it all together. Add Gilliam’s precisely designed landscape that packs more visual information into a single frame than most films attempt in their entire runtime, ambitiously wild ideas that demand multiple viewings and the spirit of Chris Marker’s La Jetée, and you’ve got yourself an absolute stunner.

Dir. Terry Gilliam, 1995, 35mm, 129 min.