When watching Brazil it's important to keep in mind that it was made in 1985, before 9-11, before the internet, before ubiquitous surveillance. It is one of the most prescient films ever made.
"People think I am a prophet and that Brazil described the world we’re living in now a few years ago. But we were living in that world then; people just weren’t paying attention the way they do now."
Also, in 1985 the stock villains weren't terrorists, they were Russians.
I don't remember the exact details but I remember thinking "wow it really wasn't all that different then" when I saw it.
When I first saw the film as a young teenager in the 80s, I was fascinated that the terrorists philosophy or demands were never clearly defined beyond "anti-government". Terrorism was portrayed as a regrettable but normal part of life.
Perhaps people who lived through actual terrorist bombing campaigns in British cities can relate to this more, but for me it was a crazy idea that this sort of thing could be normalized to any extent.
And yet here we are.
Who is this war against, Sam?
Well, terrorists of course.
How many terrorists have you met?
Actual. terrorists? Well... it's
only my first day.
I suppose the government would have considered Harry Tuttle to be a legitimate terrorist, but his motives were ... different.
Libyan Terrorists were stock villains in a lot of 1980s entertainment (especially on TV like the A-Team and MacGuyver), including perhaps most notably their very clear presence in 1985 in Back to the Future.
Jingoism has a hard time with nuance and diversity, so the "War on Terror" (sigh) mentality that terrorists are some how a coordinated force, and "mostly" religious extremists, and who cares what methods they use to promote terror just lump it all together.
Which is to say in metaphor terms, I don't think the number of terrorism "bogeys" on the radar changed, so much as the "friend or foe" system just started using the same color and tag for all of them, instead of somewhat more individual labels. It looks like "more on the radar" because it's easier to spot clusters, but they were there before.
And in 1985, you did not have Tor or public wifi allowing you to access the whole world with no effort in an anonymous way.
Look at how terrorists and criminals evade surveillance now: it is incredibly low tech.
Are you going to forget your credit cards and ATM cards too? Give up on flying? Driving new cars? Driving in non-rural areas? And good luck finding a job nowadays without a cell phone or an internet connection.
In 1985 I could fly without showing ID to anyone, including the person I bought the ticket from (back then airplane tickets were printed on paper). I could drive anywhere without my license plate being tracked by default and without having to worry about the GPS in my car (because there was no GPS). And I had a reasonable expectation of privacy, enshrined in law, in my phone calls and snail mail correspondence (there was no email). Today all of that is gone.
They still are.
> They still are.
Or, again, rather. Everything comes around eventually.
It's also the website of David Thorne, who is always amusing if you're looking for some vicious sarcasm: http://www.27bslash6.com/missy.html
It's one of the most educational discussions of cinematic storytelling and editorial technique. It is absolutely worth seeing both versions and listening to the commentary if you can find them.
Mine too. I am also a Common Lisp programmer, although I haven't put Lisp on spaceships like you. Great Minds Think Alike!!
I really admire Gilliam's persistence over the years -- and I'm thankful that he was willing to allow not one, but two documentaries to be filmed about the struggle to be made.
Critics have been a little lukewarm to the film, but everybody I know who has seen it has loved it. It has definitely lived up to the hype. Its a shame I wasn't able to catch it with a proper theatrical release. Its beautifully shot, like a lot of his films.
As I say, I love his films and I'd happily watch almost anything he's done, but I don't know how much of that is down to me being enamoured of what he obviously tries to achieve. I just can't see how the critics are wrong most of the time w/r/t his films, and to me those bad reviews have generally come across as respectfully disappointed more than anything else.
You can see this most clearly in the Metacritic for Tideland which is pretty positive as far as user submitted reviews go, but is one of the worst movies ever if you were to go off the critics reviews.
Do the facts even support this? The Fisher King and 12 Monkeys followed Munchausen and were well reviewed critically. Instead of inventing a cabal of critics out to get Gilliam, let’s just acknowledge that he’s made a number of divisive films. Michael Palin’s comments to Gilliam about Tideland encapsulate this:
I don't like the movie, I'm afraid I have to say, to be honest. But it's now the next day and there are images that I still cannot shake, that I can't get rid off. Either this is the best movie you've made, or your worst!
The problem is, critics are usually right, and the audience usually isn't. This is because critics have studied film, often went to film school, and can point out just exactly how a film fails.
That being said, Gilliam is the rare exception, and I do believe it is because of that ineffable quality about him and his directorial style. Maybe it's because I grew up with it, but "Time Bandits" is still one of my favorite films of all time. "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" was not really very well made, but it's still distinctly Gilliamesque, and it actually works around the death of Heath Ledger very adroitly. "Zero Theroem" was also a bit disappointing, but it's still at least different, not your usual Hollywood schlock.
"Brazil" was Gilliam par excellence; I am hopeful his take on Quixote is good, but even if it isn't, it will almost definitely be interesting.
The mixed reviews is not surprising for a director who is highly original but not so strong in (or doesn't care about) traditional storytelling virtues like dramatic curve and relatable characters. His movies are divisive.
You really think reviewers are afraid to give a Gilliam movie a positive review? Maybe they just don't like them all that much.
There's something of his charming sensibility in even the worst of his films, and they're worth watching for die-hard Gilliam fans like myself, but even the best of his later films (like the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) are a pale shadow of the brilliance of his early output.
Probably I say this about any superhero movie :-)
I saw it around a year ago in theater.
Is it just out now in the US ?
Edit : it seems that it is the case . Well, we were lucky in France I guess
On a side note, I really liked this movie !
I hope you can catch it this time !
a release in the US was planned for the same time, and in fact the movie was very briefly streaming on amazon in the US, but ultimately got locked up because one of the producers of the original version took gilliam to court.
Does anyone know if this is a snipe at Sid Sheinberg, who famously edited the happy ending of Brazil which was titled "Love Conquers All"? 
I haven't really enjoyed Driver's work in the past, not because he's bad at his job but because he's typecast as the broody annoying guy. To hear Gilliam describe it, he seems to start that way, but then gets to exercise comic chops that I haven't seen him hit before. I'd love to think Driver has more range than I've seen so far.
I really feel transported to another universe/world in his films, Zero Theorem/Dr Parnasis/12 Monkeys/Time Bandits/Fisher King.
I can only imagine what it feels like to finally release this film after so many hurdles.
Love his work, his distribution lately has been rather crap, thumbs up from a random on the internet.
Okay, they aren't direct sequels but they make a trilogy of related movies: the fantasies of childhood, the fantasies of middle age and the fantasies of old age.
Beside, several of the original band of midgets (little people?) are sadly no longer with us.
I had to make sure to be in NY for it. Last time I saw him live (at IFC for The Zero Theorem), he mentioned that he can only spend 29 days per year in the United States after giving up his American citizenship. His days are counted, in a way...
He mentioned it in 2013. So he's probably not affected anymore, but he still tends not to spend a lot of time in the US.
Now it's just another film. Like Duke Nukem Forever, its release has inevitably declassed it.
This is a revival of that project. They resuscitated the script and completely re-cast it (since, among other things, original lead Jean Rochefort passed away more than a year ago).
I personally didn't go out of personal preference and I have no regrets over that. I've heard mixed reviews before and after. Maybe I'll see it eventually, but I'm not itching for it.
BTW, I've ready the book other day. It is really fantastic.
i felt differently about this movie. the same themes are here, but much more explicit. in this film, the character becomes more and more isolated, the world becomes smaller and smaller, and the delusions are unilateral. it doesn't allow me to follow the main character into the spiral and i'm left feeling like an observer rather than a participant.
I've asked the universe that question many times, but all I ever get is a chuckle.
I love gilliam and brazil and twelve monkeys are among my favorite films.