Brazil

  • Directed by Terry Gilliam
  • United Kingdom, 1985, 142 mins., English

A shape-shifting film like few others, Brazil stands as Terry Gilliam’s foremost masterpiece and one of the finest political/dystopian satires ever committed to celluloid. Following the low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (an unforgettable Jonathan Pryce), who’s determined to keep his low-level position lest he be absorbed into the managerial class that has taken over society. Sam’s dream life (in the literal sense) consists of heroic fantasies where he romances his dream woman (Kim Greist), who turns out to be his neighbor in the Orwellian housing block. In the meantime, Sam meets Tuttle (Robert De Niro), a radical, fly-by-night air-conditioning repairman who is a government target since his business consists of actually improving the lives of the populace. With Brazil, Gilliam created a wholly singular world, and a “ferociously creative black comedy. . . filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention—every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.”—Dave Kehr, The Chicago Reader.

Appears in: Print the Legend

Genres: Dystopian Sci-Fi

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