In 1984, in a Brave New World, a proof of The Faculty of Useless Knowledge.
To savour copiously...
Gilliam sometimes refers to this film as the second in his "Trilogy of Imagination" films, starting with "Time Bandits" and ending with "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen". All are about the craziness of our awkwardly ordered society and the desire to escape it through whatever means possible.
The title of the movie comes from Ary Barroso's 1939 song "Aquarela do Brasil" in a version specifically performed by Geoff Muldaur. It is the leitmotif of the movie, although other background music is also used. Michael Kamen, who scored the music, originally recorded "Brazil" with vocals by Kate Bush. And incidently I'm a fan of Kate Bush. I'm not kidding, got all her records. If the rebels are against the tyrannical Ministry of Information, why are they killing all those innocent people?
A kind of a plot : Is political behaviour a mistake or a joke from a philosophical point of view ?
In any society, one will invariably find that even the bitterest political antagonists share certain baseline values. This is not meant to endorse the facile idea that all sides in a conflict are the same, only to point out that wildly divergent ideas can be embraced, somewhat paradoxically, by people who hail from similar environments and perceive certain things in very similar ways. Terrorism is a cultural phenomenon as well as a political one. A society’s perception of terrorism as an acceptable form of political expression — or, by contrast, its complete rejection of terrorism — is tied to perhaps the most fundamental concept in any culture, the value of human life.
In Brazil, we are constantly shown that the culture of that society does not value individual human life at all. This is a world where people are grabbed, tortured and killed without a trial all the time; in fact, the legal system, as such, doesn’t even exist — and people generally don’t seem to mind this. (For instance, Mrs. Tuttle’s rage over the death of her husband stems from the fact that “he was good”, not that he was “completed” without even a chance to learn what the charges are or to present a defense.)
The movie begins with a bizarre interview of Mr. Helpman, who characterizes the terrorists as bitter losers who “can’t stand to see the other guy win”. To state that the biggest problem with terrorism is denial is an immensely weird way to characterize it. Keep in mind, Helpman’s interview is propaganda, calculated to inspire the public’s loyalty to the regime. And yet, Helpman talks about the battle between the government and the rebels as if it were a sports competition, and does not mention once what we see as the defining evil of terrorism: the random, indiscriminate killing of civilians. This suggests that the senseless loss of life is simply not an important issue for the Ministry’s subjects. Whenever there is an explosion, no one bats an eye. When one happens in a fancy restaurant, unharmed patrons continue eating and chit-chatting, with corpses, severed body parts and screaming, maimed victims mere feet away. When another happens in a department store, survivors do not pause even for a split second in their shopping frenzy. A one legged woman is the only one standing on a train, while all the other — non-disabled — passengers relax in their seats and don’t seem to notice her. Sam is unphased when he hears anguished screaming and then, moments later, sees his friend in a torn and bloodied lab coat. Sam is also unbothered by the fact that Tuttle is tortured to death by mistake; his only concern is smoothing out the bureaucratic side of the error by giving Mrs. Tuttle a “refund” for her husband.
The bombings seem to be aimed primarily at disrupting the ducts, but the rebels don’t mind taking out numerous innocent people along with the Ministry’s infrastructure. This indifference does not mean they are extraordinarily heartless monsters; rather, it is a consequence of operating in a world where the killing of innocent people simply isn’t seen as a big deal.
Last edited by ollivier (2014-02-26 17:13:35)
First of all, I apologize for my English... But I need to know that Swan have seen this wonderful and definitely cult movie!
So Swan, just for you, here is the plot of Brazil:
In a retro-futurist world, Sam Lawry is a civil servant for a totalitarian country. His life is guided by Kafkaesque rules and a humdrum job. But one day, somebody named Archibald Tuttle is arrested due to an administrative error. Lawry tries to repair this mistake, and the system considers him as a dissident... In his journey, he will meet Harry Tuttle, a heating technician unamenable to the system, and the literally woman of his dreams...
Brazil is a great movie, dark but fantastic. The great director Terry Gilliam have made one of his masterpiece with a story in which Franz Kafka meets Georges Orwell... And Robert DeNiro is wonderful as the super-heating technician!
Last edited by Cracapouet (2014-02-26 17:14:35)