Brazil Dvd

Written by Sarah Provost
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Terry Gilliam's Brazil blends the darkest of comedies with paranoid social satire and leavens the mix with the anarchic glee of his Monty Python animations. The result is a movie that elicits widely varying reactions. Universal didn't want to release it, until Gilliam secretly screened it for the Los Angeles Film Critics, who promptly named it the Best Film of 1985.

Ducts, Bugs and Dreams

Our hero, if you want to call him that, is Sam Lowry, played by Jonathan Price. Lowry is a downtrodden government clerk who escapes from his dreadful life in dreams of flight, following a beautiful woman. One day a bug gets into his printer (a real bug, that is) and the resulting smear leads to mistaken identity. An innocent citizen, Mr. Buttle, is taken for the terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert deNiro).

Tuttle himself is a renegade repairman who shows up to fix things in defiance of the state, then makes his escape through the ever-present system of malevolent-looking ducts. When Lowry tries to correct the error caused by the squashed cockroach, bureaucratic hell breaks loose. He finds himself on the run, along with the girl of his dreams.

The studio reedited the film in an attempt to make it more commercial. That 90-minute version (cut down from 142), cheekily entitled "The Love Conquers All Version," can be seen as an extra on the Criterion DVD. All DVDs are the director's cut, complete with European footage.


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