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Thread: Brazil

  1. #1
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    Brazil

    Has anyone ever seen Terry Gillam's Brazil from 1985? I wanted to see that for a long time building up anticipation expecting it to be a really strangley-awsome movie.

    To my dissapointment half-way through someone decided to take a giant dump all over it. I was completely thrown off. Nothing was really adding up and I learned to despise the main character (Sam Lowery). "Terry Gillam makes really unlikeable characters", one of my friends had told me...and was she right. What I really liked about that movie was its strange sense of style and its zanyness. I did have to give it that. My favorite part was in the end when Sam went completely nuts and his dream world and reality became one.

    What I don't understand is where they got the idea to constantly play the song Brazil. I don't know where that came from or how it fit into anything. My friend kept saying this quote that went "Where is this far away land called Brazil?" but it was never said at all in the movie. Has anyone ever seen this movie and did make any sense of it?

    Brazil
    Brazil, where hearts were entertaining June
    We stood beneath an amber moon
    And softly murmured "Someday soon"
    We kissed and clung togetherThen, tomorrow was another day
    The morning found me miles away
    With still a million things to sayNow, when twilight dims the sky
    above
    Recalling thrills of our love
    There's one thing I'm certain of
    Return I will to old Brazil


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    ummm, well, I'm not sure, but by the way you're describing the end I'm curious which version you saw. There are three distinct edits of the movie, and they are certainly not all equal (one as short as 94 minutes, one as long as 142). Details on the differences here: http://imdb.com/title/tt0088846/alternateversions

    basically, if you didn't see Gilliams version, you got cheated. I suspect you saw the Universal re-cut with the happy ending.

    That said, whatever version it was, the movie's not for everyone. It's been a long time since I've watched it, but I remember it as one of the most claustrophobic films I'd ever seen. I didn't care for it at first, but it grew on me. The intended message of the movie is hopelessly lost in the short version. Some argue Brazil as Gilliams best, though I think that's a tough call to make.

    I disagree about the likeability of Gilliams characters. The Baron Munchausen (and his extraordinary servants) were all likeable if you ask me, and the Time Bandits too. Most of his key characters that I can think of, actually. Thompson and Dr. Gonzo for sure, though I don't know if they count.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    basically, if you didn't see Gilliams version, you got cheated. I suspect you saw the Universal re-cut with the happy ending.
    .
    The happy ending? If you can call it that. He went all nuts and was thinking his fantasy world was still reality but the viewers find hes still being tortured in that huge chamber and his colleuges leave him in la-la land. Different versions? I wasn't aware of that. I probably need to see it again. Interesting all the same.

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    One of my all time favorite movies. The claustrophobic atmosphere was quite intentional. Remember in his dream he started out flying and free. That was one of the few places where the space wasn't so confined.Then his dreams and reality began to mix, and even his dream started becoming claustrophobic. Finally in the end when he is being tortured he's in that huge room. So it's in madness that he finally gets set free again. Does that make sense?

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    ok, the ending you saw was either the UK or American release, and not the butchered 94 minute one. Like I said, it's not for everyone. jfwalls, I'm right with you that the claustrophobia was intentional, being both the reason it turns some people off (or a reason) and also evidence of being a very well made movie.
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    One of my favorite movies. I loved it.

    I can see how a lot of people would be turned of by the slapstick nature of it's presentation, but I loved that aspect of it. It came off to me as exxagerating the absurdity of the system itself.

    And the concept of a superhero in this world not being someone who comes and saves you from dying, but rather simply fixes your air conditioner unit without having to go through a nightmare of paperwork was interesting.

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    If you watched the Criterion version, maybe the commentary would help...

    I think it's the surrealism nature of the film that really threw me off track...
    LONG LIVE YOKO KANNO!!!

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    Gilliam's films are eye candy but the pacing is unbearable...

    I highly recommend getting the documentary "Lost in La Mancha" on the disasterous almost making of his film Don Quixote

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    Gilliam's films are eye candy but the pacing is unbearable...


    one of my favorite directors up until Brothers Grim. 12 Monkeys, Baron Munchausen, Fear and Loathing... dude man...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rascar Capac
    I highly recommend getting the documentary "Lost in La Mancha" on the disasterous almost making of his film Don Quixote
    I've heard about that. What was so horrible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinster
    What I don't understand is where they got the idea to constantly play the song Brazil. I don't know where that came from or how it fit into anything. My friend kept saying this quote that went "Where is this far away land called Brazil?" but it was never said at all in the movie. Has anyone ever seen this movie and did make any sense of it?
    Well, the title and the song relates to the movie because the city of Brazilia (capital of Brazil) was the inspiration for the urban setting depicted in the movie. Brazilia is a city that was designed as whole from scratch, during the modernist period of architecture and urbanism (LeCorbusier and Niemeyer where part of the project). This project had several fails (like harsh weather due to its location, hence this thing with air conditioning in the movie) and the buildings considered by many (like several other modernist architectural projects) sterile and oppresive (similar to those described in the book NineteenEightyFour, by Geroge Orwell, which also inspired Brazil). More info, probably on wikipedia. I don't remeber where I've read this explanation, but it made sense to me.

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    This is one of my favorite movies. You really have to open your mind to the movie in order to fully enjoy it. It's not a typical movie you would end up seing at the theatre. It's about messages to the audience with the help of cinematography (a quite surreal one too).

    As for the song Brazil, it's a song about love/freedom. I think they used it in contrast with the story. Theres abit of a story behind it and why he picked it but i forgot the jits of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alxcote
    As for the song Brazil, it's a song about love/freedom. I think they used it in contrast with the story. Theres abit of a story behind it and why he picked it but i forgot the jits of it.
    I think his inspiration for making the movie happened at a beach somewhere near an industrial complex. there was ash and waste all over the beach, but he noticed a man sitting there, listening to Brazil on a little radio. Essentially, It was a small human element, enjoying the song in an otherwise apocalyptic wasteland. I guess this single moment got the ball rolling in his head for the story of the movie... and the song itself stuck with him and was powerful to the message. I dont think the song in particular (lyrics and whatnot) has any special meaning to the film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinster
    I've heard about that. What was so horrible?
    Well..everything that could go wrong went wrong...from the lead actor getting sick in the middle of the project to floods washing all their equipment away...Its worth seeing.

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    Ive always heard this was an excellent film. I saw it when I was pretty young and remember it being very bizzare, I kind of put it in the I was too young to get it catagory. I've been meaning to get a dvd of it, has it been remastered and all that jazz yet?

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    has it been remastered and all that jazz yet?
    The criterion DVD has all you could want and more
    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    The criterion DVD has all you could want and more
    I believe it's being rereleased with better features, so I think it's best to wait for that one... The new Criterion edition Seven Samurai is already set for rerelease in September (I think, very nice new cover too!)....
    Last edited by seba_boi; July 5th, 2006 at 01:26 PM.
    LONG LIVE YOKO KANNO!!!

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    Just finished watching it...fuck me!
    It's incredibly chaotic, especially at the end. As hard as it is to understand what's happening at times, it's easily made my top ten.
    Wow.

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