1985 | Terry Gilliam | UK | English | CC not available | 142 min | R
In honor of Terry Gilliam’s latest, we will be showing his dystopian classic for our Late Night of the week!
Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as a virtuous hero saving a beautiful damsel. Investigating a case that led to the wrongful arrest and eventual death of an innocent man instead of wanted terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro), he meets the woman from his daydream (Kim Greist), and in trying to help her gets caught in a web of mistaken identities, mindless bureaucracy and lies. Brazil’s satire of bureaucratic, totalitarian government is reminiscent of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Jack Mathews, a film critic and the author of The Battle of Brazil (1987), described the film as “satirizing the bureaucratic, largely dysfunctional industrial world that had been driving Gilliam crazy all his life”.
Though a success in Europe, the film was unsuccessful in its initial North America release. It has since become a cult film. In 1999, the British Film Institute voted Brazil the 54th greatest British film of all time. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine saw it ranked the 24th best British film ever.