Brazil Movie Review

Categorically, one of the greatest films of the century--about a lowly clerk in a postmodern dystopia fighting to regain a sense of self against the all-powerful machine of government tyranny. As fought-over as Citizen Kane. As filled with nuance and meaning as A Clockwork Orange. As prophetic as 1984. Anyone who doesn't like Brazil is a fascist. You can tell them I said so.

The three-disc DVD Criterion Edition of the film is one for the vaults. At its center is a documentary by film critic Jack Mathews which goes into all the painful and gory details Terry Gilliam undertook to get Brazil through a studio system that just didn't understand it. Gilliam wanted his 142 minute version, the studio wanted its 94 minute version. The two films are as different as two from Corman and Disney, with radically different themes, structures, and of course, quality. And you can watch them both, Gilliam's original cut with his own commentary, the so-called "Love Conquers All" version with "Gilliam expert' David Morgan lending an academic tone to the proceedings. Fascinating -- even though you're not likely to watch that third disc once and once only.

Comments

Brazil Rating

" Essential "

Rating: R, 1985

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