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Where To Find It

Call number: DVD Science-Fiction Brazil

Available Copies: Downtown 1st Floor

Additional Details

Originally released as a motion picture in 1985.

Disc 1. The movie (142 min.) -- disc 2. The production notebook -- disc 3. Brazil: the "love conquers all" version (94 min.).

Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins.

A daydreaming bureaucrat becomes involved with an underground superhero and a beautiful mysterious woman and becomes the tragic victim of his own romantic illusions.

DVD ; stereo ; Digital Surround/Dolby (disc 1 and 3) ; Digital Stereo/Dolby (disc 2); 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

Community Reviews

Dark film with cheery soundtrack

This is an incredibly dark film, which illustrates all too clearly the terror that ubiquitous and error-prone computing systems can bring into the conduct of every day life. Everything that you can be brought to fear about bureaucratic mistakes wreaking havoc on your life is embodied in this film.

The cheery counterpoint, of course, is that the soundtrack is wonderful - consisting entirely of variations on the song "Brazil" (Aquarela do Brasil) to provide an atmosphere that ranges from somber to foreboding to positively upbeat, all without changing the tune.

Visions of the future from 1985

This film, if not recognized for its greatness when it was first released, has only found more relevance and importance as time has passed. So much of what this film is about, not to mention what physically occurs over the 142 minutes, is straight from today's headlines (or bloglines).

There are two big fears in Gilliam's future: terrorists and bad credit. It is never made clear that the terrorists actually exist, although the buffoonish-1984ish government is built upon the fear of them. Those who are arrested by mistake (due to paperwork errors) are then held indefinitely because they cannot pay back their arresting fees due to the bad credit that the arrest gave them. At one point, a sign held by a parade member reading "Consumers for Christ!" snapped me into our more recent past, when we were told that consuming was the secret to our salvation as a country. A young girl tells Santa Claus that she wants her 'very own credit card!' for Christmas.

All of this is the scene for the everyman, Sam, who stumbles his way into accident upon accident which reveal only enough for him to get himself into further trouble, and for the viewer to grasp the horror that is a society built on impersonal procedure.

For someone who subscribes to the 'no film should be longer than 90 minutes' philosophy, this nearly 2.5 hour film was a breeze to sit through. The ending snuck up on me; I thought it was a total cop-out, until realizing that it was brilliant and the only way to handle it. A must-see for any connoisseur of dystopian imaginings.

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