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The Boys From Brazil ReviewSign In. Brazil Hide Spoilers. And it is kind of hard to put the label of any one particular genre on the film; it's generally referred to as "dystopian science fiction" which certainly isn't wrongbut it's also a satire, a drama, a black comedy and perhaps even a fantasy film. Like many other dystopian sci-fi films e. FahrenheitEquilibrium, The Hunger GamesBrazil depicts a totalitarian society, but that's about as far as the similarities with other films go. The whole design of Brazil's crazy world is unlike anything I've ever seen in other movies with the exception perhaps of those made by the same filmmaker. Where films with similar themes typically go for a futuristic look that is defined by all the technological advancements the writers and filmmakers can dream of, Terry Gilliam chooses the complete opposite direction. In his film, technology seems to have made no progress since somewhere around the forties or fifties, and what technology there is doesn't exactly look very reliable. And unlike other dystopian films, it's not primarily the bleak aspects of a totalitarian society Gilliam wants to explore; in his film, he wants to show how hilariously insane, inept and ridiculous many of the mechanisms and instruments of oppression truly are. In that sense, Brazil is mainly a satire at least that's how I perceive itand it is often either darkly funny or downright hilarious. There is simply not a dull moment in the film: it's a wild ride that never lets up and almost every image on the screen practically bursts with clever often hilarious details; from the way food is served in restaurants to how the benefits of plastic surgery are presented, Gilliam's imagination can only be marveled at. His vision of a bureaucracy gone mad is probably the most entertaining nightmare ever put on film I'm talking about the director's cut, of course. A masterpiece that gets even better after repeat viewings: 10 stars out of Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote. An extraordinary movie, original, funny and frightening. Terry Gilliam's masterpiece. Infofreak 6 April I really can't tell you how much my first viewing of this movie knocked me out. Nearly twenty years ago, before Terry Gilliam's reputation is what it is today, seeing this in a cinema without knowing ANYTHING about it, it was one of the most unforgettable movie experiences of my life! Still is. I was a Python fan since childhood and well aware of Gilliam's animation work, but nothing could prepare you for just how bizarre, funny, scary and disturbing 'Brazil' is. It's still one of the most original and inventive science fiction movies ever made, with a surreal, retro future quite unlike anything seen on a movie screen before or since. Gilliam mixes Python's anarchic, intellectual humour with Orwell, Kafka and Theatre Of The Absurd elements and comes up with something really special. John Sladek kinda sorta wrote some stories in a similar territory before this, and Dean Motter has written some comics since, but 'Brazil' is really in a world of its own! Jonathan Pryce was fairly obscure at the time and an odd choice to play the leading role, but is perfectly cast, and it's hard to think of an actor who would have been as convincing and sympathetic. This is still an utterly brilliant movie, one of the very best of the last twenty-five years. I can't recommend this movie highly enough, it is a masterpiece pure and simple. JackLint 18 October
Film Review: ‘Bacurau’
More so than the other two films, the dreams of Sam Lowry Jonathan Pryce are highly literal he soars on wings in the sky but is dragged down by work, his mother, etc and are integral to his survival and sanity. Gilliam famously had a rough time getting it into cinemas: the film was recut for a more conventional happy ending than the bleakly ambiguous one the story originally intended — and demanded — causing Gilliam to take out a full-page ad in Variety with an open letter to studio chairman Sid Sheinberg. It's the story of the small man up against a huge, faceless bureaucracy, in a style future awash in stifling rules and regulations. But the rules don't work, the technology is prone to breaking — causing explosions blamed on "terrorists", a tag also applied to those who bend or break the rules, such the freelance plumber played by Robert de Niro. Beautifully staged, in many now demolished buildings that formed Britain's industrial landscape, Brazil is Monty Python meets George Orwell and it's as clever, witty and subversive as that sounds. Topics Science fiction and fantasy films The 25 best sci-fi and fantasy films of all time. Terry Gilliam Robert De Niro features. Reuse this content. Most popular.
The Nightmare of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil 30 Years Later
Another entry on movie interpretation. This essay is geared towards people who have seen the movie. Major plot points will be revealed, and minor plot points too. Proceed at your own risk. How to summarize Brazil? I never really wanted to make movies, but this is one of those films that make me really envious of filmmakers. Here is an opportunity to put all your crazy, weird, possibly teenage, fantasies to celluloid. Brazil is like steampunk, except with mid-twentieth-century technology. If there was an ipad in it, it would probably have wheels and run off a tank of diesel. I am sorry, but this is the simplest I can put it. Synopsis 2. Why is the movie called Brazil? If the rebels are against the tyrannical Ministry of Information, why are they killing all those innocent people? What is the significance of ducts? Why does the Ministry of Information hunt down freelance heating engineers? Why is Sam obsessed with old movies and music? Lesson for today and every day. As the name implies, the Ministry is obsessed with possessing information about everyone and everything, and employs a massive centralized bureaucracy to manage its never-ending tzunami of paperwork. The most distinctive visual feature of the world portrayed in Brazil is a convoluted system of grey ducts, mostly for conveying paper, which invade every room and every office. Sam Lowry is a clerk in Records, the lowliest department within the Ministry. He is happy if one can use that word with his dead-end, undemanding job and has no ambition for career advancement, much to the consternation of his wealthy, glamorous, power-hungry mother. Periodically, Sam escapes into a recurring dream, in which he is an angel, flying high above the chaos of his world, battling demons to free a beautiful blond woman imprisoned in a cage, and finally making love to her. The convergence of these three events cause Sam to accept a promotion to Information Retrieval a euphemistic name for a department that deals with interrogation and torturewhere he abuses his position, first, to locate the woman he is obsessed with and second, to ensure her safety from his colleagues. But why, of all the retro references, is this one picked for the title? I have to be careful not to read too much into it. Still, the title of Brazil strikes me as kind of an in-movie joke. Jill — the woman with whom Sam is in love — mentions that there is nowhere to go to escape. This suggests that the rest of the world, including Brazil, has either been destroyed, or overtaken by the Ministry, or so completely off-limits that it may as well not exist. So too, in relation to the viewer, the world depicted in the movie is a kind of Brazil of its own — foreign, completely unrealistic, and a place for our imagination to escape to. Another interesting piece of trivia: Brasil is a phantom island in Irish mythology, that is said to be always cloaked by mist. Brasil becomes visible for only one day every seven years, but even on such a day, it is still unreachable. In any society, one will invariably find that even the bitterest political antagonists share certain baseline values. This is not meant to endorse the facile idea that all sides in a conflict are the same, only to point out that wildly divergent ideas can be embraced, somewhat paradoxically, by people who hail from similar environments and perceive certain things in very similar ways. Terrorism is a cultural phenomenon as well as a political one. In Brazilwe are constantly shown that the culture of that society does not value individual human life at all.
However, the opening was suddenly advanced, and it began its weeklong engagement today at Loew's New York Twin. It is scheduled to reopen on Feb. Gilliam, whose satirical and cautionary impulses work beautifully together. His film's ambitious visual style bears this out, combining grim, overpowering architecture with clever throwaway touches. The look of the film harkens back to the 's, as does the title; ''Brazil'' is named not for the country but for the 's popular song, which floats through the film as a tantalizing refrain. The gaiety of the music stands in ironic contrast to the oppressive, totalitarian society in which the story is set. The plot itself, from a screenplay by Mr. Gilliam, Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeown, is rather thin; it exists mainly as an excuse to lead the viewer into various corners of an unexpectedly humorous Orwellian world. Gilliam's answer to Mr. Orwell's Winston Smith is one Sam Lowry, a gray-suited bureaucrat who has a forbidden love, a lively fantasy life and a socialite mother. Ida Lowry played hilariously by Katherine Helmondwho is constantly in the company of her in-house plastic surgeon, spends most of her time lunching with lady-friends and a bit of it worrying about her son's limited career. So Ida - whose fashion sense dictates that she wear hats that look very much like upside-down shoes - arranges a promotion for Sam. He winds up in an office so small that he has only half a desk and half a poster sharing both with the bureaucrat next door. This change somehow propels Sam into a romance with a woman who may be a terrorist and into a series of hellish nightmares. Much of the cleverness of ''Brazil'' has to do with its tiny details, the sense of how things work in this new society. Signs glimpsed in the background say things like ''Loose Talk is Noose Talk'' and ''Suspicion Breeds Confidence,'' while television advertisements are for things like fashionable heating ducts ''in designer colors to suit your demanding taste'' the production design makes sure that heating ducts are everywhere. Politeness counts for everything, as in an early scene where one hapless Mr. Buttle is arrested in his own living room, stuffed into what looks like a large canvas bag, and led away, never to be seen again. At least Mrs. Buttle is given a written receipt for her confiscated husband. Harry Tuttle, the man the police were actually after until a large bug dropped into a computer and caused a typographical error, is played by Robert De Niro as a combination repairman and commando. De Niro has only the briefest of roles here, but he makes it count for a lot, as does Bob Hoskins as a sinister fellow passing himself off as a rival repairman. The friends of Sam's mother are also nicely played, particularly Shirley Kathryn Pogsonwho tells Sam shyly that she doesn't like him at all. Giving his regards to Jack's twins and learning that they are triplets, Sam responds by saying ''Triplets! How time flies. Also in ''Brazil'' is Kim Greist as the pretty young woman who fascinates Sam in reality and in his dreams; in the latter, she has angelic blond hair and he appears as a magnificent winged silver creature swooping through the skies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Gilliam might have staged such a scene more facetiously, but here it has a real poignance. For all its fancifulness, ''Brazil'' and its characters seem substantial and real. Running time: minutes. This film has no rating. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.