Brazil: Yea or nay

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Kenneth Burns
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Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:44 pm

**SPOILER**

So I just watched Brazil for the first time since it was on the big screen. It intrigued me a lot when I was 15, but now I can't decide: Is this movie great, or does it suck? Gilliam's vision of this particular totalitarian society is so vivid and interesting and chilling, and that makes for a most entertaining and provocative first half. But there's way too much of the fantasy sequences with the giant samurai and all that. And the characters' actions don't make sense. Why does Kim Greist contemptuously kick Jonathan Pryce out the speeding truck, but seconds later is full of sympathy and concern for him when she brakes and he falls off? If the guy at the front desk of the Ministry of Information knows who Jonathan Pryce is without having to see identification, why doesn't he later recognize Pryce when he's flashing Michael Palin's ID? I could go on. And ach, the dream sequence at the end. That's a story cheat barely worthy of a late season of Dallas. Except maybe it's the best movie ever.

depinmad
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby depinmad » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:57 am

there are more than a few different cuts of brazil and so it's hard to keep track of what happens towards the end in which version.

anyway in my opinion, gilliam's masterpiece is 12 monkeys. that's a movie i can watch again and again.
brazil... not so much.

ilikebeans
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby ilikebeans » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:23 am

Brazil left me a little cold last time I saw it, although there are flashes of genius that Gilliam used in later movies.

The scene of having a restaurant of diners completely ignore a terrorist attack on the building and continue eating is some sharp satire even to this day, among many other examples.

But yeah, the original ending-- oy.

Kenneth Burns
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:14 am

Yeah, the terrorism and torture stuff definitely resonates. I saw the 133-minute version, I believe the initial U.S. theatrical release.

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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby meowzamusic » Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:50 pm

I thought it was a boring overlong set piece. Pretty much every other movie I've ever seen of Gilliam's has been way more watchable. And once in a while when he shows some restraint it pays off really well, like The Fisher King. He's like Lynch that way, good stuff can come out but that doesn't always happen.

towanda
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby towanda » Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:28 pm

The cut with the original ending is the only one worth watching. The Disneyfied versions just turn it into a load of crap.

ilikebeans
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby ilikebeans » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:07 am

towanda wrote:The cut with the original ending is the only one worth watching. The Disneyfied versions just turn it into a load of crap.

Hm, not sure anymore which version I saw. I've got a sneaking suspicion the ending from the rental DVD I got defaulted to the non-Gilliam "happy" version, widely regarding as trash.

Could someone that has seen the multiple endings describe them (with spoiler alert, I suppose)?

ilikebeans
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby ilikebeans » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:19 am

Is it just me, or does the guy on the cover look like Anthony Michael Hall meets stop-motion Fred Astaire from Santa Claus is Coming to Town?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5 ... SS500_.jpg

http://www.heartlessdoll.com/amh2.jpg

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3122896384/tt0066327

towanda
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby towanda » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:00 pm

ilikebeans wrote:
towanda wrote:The cut with the original ending is the only one worth watching. The Disneyfied versions just turn it into a load of crap.

Hm, not sure anymore which version I saw. I've got a sneaking suspicion the ending from the rental DVD I got defaulted to the non-Gilliam "happy" version, widely regarding as trash.

Could someone that has seen the multiple endings describe them (with spoiler alert, I suppose)?

Spoiler alert.

The original ending, the one that Terry Gilliam planned for the film, the one that does not turn the whole thing into a Disneyfied happy-crappy-ever-after-escape-from-the-bad-guys-hooray piece of mush, goes thusly:

Shots of Sam's escape fantasy, being rescued from Information Retrieval by Harry Tuttle's gang, blowing up the Ministry, and driving off into the billboarded sunset with the Dream Girl, which is where the mush-cut ends. There is one more scene:
A shot from the perspective of Sam's seat, with Jack Lint and Mr Helpmann looking down at the seated figure:
MR HELPMANN: This one's gotten away from you, Jack.
JACK LINT: Yes, sir. He's left us.
Jack is holding a surgical instrument used in lobotomies. Jack turns to push Mr Helpmann's chair out of the Information Retrieval area, and the camera swings back to show Sam, looking vacant and softly humming the song Brazil. The assumption is that Sam has either gone insane and completely retreated from reality or that Jack went too far and completely lobotomized him.

ilikebeans
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby ilikebeans » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:32 pm

Ah yes, thanks. Now I remember having seen that last part as well.

Nick Berigan
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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby Nick Berigan » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:27 pm

I like this film a lot because, among other reasons, it has scenes from places that I have worked.

Just fast forward through the dream scenes.

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Re: Brazil: Yea or nay

Postby uwstudent » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:41 pm

The original version is still the best, but for my money Gilliams best film is Time Bandits.


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