February 1, 2008

"Care for a little necrophilia?"

If you've seen 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or Monty Python, you've seen something made by Terry Gilliam. I had no clue who he was until about 5 minutes ago. If you haven't seen Brazil, you are missing out. It's a dark comedy about a dystopian future society filled with red tape and bureaucracy.

Man seems to have lost all sense of responsibility. Every action is determined by a strict set of rules and paperwork - which of course must be filled out in the proper manner. In society's quest to perfect living, they have seemed to only make things more error prone, but the characters refuse to believe that mistakes are possible. One error, caused by a bug falling into a printing press of sorts actually leads to a man's execution. People only seem to be held accountable for maintaining inconsequential pleasantries.

People are terrified by the threat of terrorist attacks, but explosions are so commonplace people don't seem to mind them. My God, there were so many explosions. Steve and I hypothesized that the producers had money left over in their budget and decided to blow some shit up.

The main character, Sam Lowry, played by Jonathan Pryce, is an aimless member of this society. He's content with his mid-level job with the Ministry of Information, and isn't inspired to become anything. His only dreams are the ones he has while asleep, but these start to blend with real life and eventually become his real-life aspirations.
It's a pretty typical post-modern society like 1984 or The Matrix where everything is run by a central entity. It also reminded me of Fight Club. Lowry's hopes to escape the monster that is Brazil requires him to reject all of the systematization and documentation in order to escape and find out the truth about himself.

It's one of those movies where you really have to think a lot. Everything is symbolic in some way, and analyzing all of it while keeping track of myriad characters can be daunting at times. It is almost a good idea to pause it a couple times to discuss what the hell has been happening.

Robert DeNiro has a bit part as a renegade heating engineer. Boivin and I found ourselves yearning for more of him.I loved it because it made me laugh, and left me thinking. I would recommend it to most people.


luckyhole said...

DeNiro with a stache! You still got a beard?

Dabiv Dagis said...

I couldn't get into "Tideland".

I wish the chick in "Brazil" had long hair throughout the "reality" portion. She, uh.. well, she didn't look too good, sarge.

Vinnie said...

Any idea why the movie was called Brazil? I figured it was just the name of the city they lived in, but they never actually revealed it.

Dabiv Dagis said...

I think it has to do with the song that plays right at the beginning in Sam's car. Just the idea that there is a place, far away, better than where you are. Anywhats that's what I got from it.

Vinnie said...

Yeah I remember hearing that song. That makes sense.