Brazil (1985)

A man wearing wings jumps from a filing cabinet drawer that is open among an entire wall of filig cabinet drawers with pink and blue neon lighting-styled title spelling Brazil.
The Criterion Collection cover art for the 1985 movie Brazil, directed by Terry Gilliam.
About the movie
  • Director: Terry Gilliam
  • Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro
  • Yes or no?: Yes
  • Links: on Letterboxd, IMDb page
Other reviews:

A lot of 1984, a lot of Kafka, a real noir, and great. I really liked this.

This movie came out when I was 10, and around that time I saw everything I could. We had a family friend who worked for a studio who could somehow call this megaplex in my town and get me and my friends in whenever I wanted. I think my parents were horrified, but I called all the time and she was always awesome and hooked me up.

Anyway, I saw everything that a kid might find at all interesting in those days. I never even heard of Brazil. That’s obviously on me, especially since I never heard of the movie until last year. But let’s forget about all that.

As I watch these well-regarded movies, I am constantly struck by my not even realizing so many of them existed. I kept thinking, “this came out when I was ten?” because it’s different than everything else from that era that I remember.

I know that’s not a review, but it’s what I am thinking about this movie. The elements of tricky camera shots making some bizarre scenes, the literal trenchcoat and hot of a noir while searching for the blond and through the mysterious circumstances. It felt like I was watching a Kafka piece be made into a movie. The cops’ uniforms were right out of Hitler’s Germany and the break-ins felt like they were ripped right out of Michael Radford’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It all added up to be a really nice production. It didn’t miss in what it was going for. The world created was understandable without being relatable, maybe.

This was really good, and I have no doubts it will lead me right to Gilliam’s other movies. It’ll also be an occasional rewatch, as I am positive I’ll learn and see more in this beauty each time I give it a look.