The Florentine sculptor and silversmith Benvenuto Cellini rapidly attained a degree of renown that went beyond the confines of Italy. His flamboyant temperament, his acute awareness of his own talent and the freedom of spirit he flaunted before those in power are all characteristics that inspired Berlioz when he read his memoirs. Invariably embroiled in conspiracies, intrigues and quarrels, Cellini is commissioned by the Pope to cast a large sculpture of Perseus. He is loved by Teresa, but she is promised to Fieramosca, an academic artist who has not been favoured with a papal commission. Terry Gilliam’s exuberant production draws the protagonists into a delirious and joyful yet claustrophobic and megalomaniac world: a flaring up of contagious madness.