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Forum namePass The Popcorn
Topic subjectYour points are incredibly valid, but I've still gotta say...
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=240898&mesg_id=242062
242062, Your points are incredibly valid, but I've still gotta say...
Posted by Ryan M, Mon Jan-01-07 05:57 AM
...it's still a masterpiece. I am in the minority when I say I didn't like Time Bandits at all (it's one of those films I think you had to see as a kid to really love...I didn't, so I don't). I say that because I find Gilliam fascinating and amazing, but not infallible. I think he's made 3 genuine masterpieces (Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing) and another great film in The Fisher King...but he's certainly not beyond criticism (is anyone, really?)

That being said...you bring up great points. The story is thin, but I think when I first saw it (maybe 2 years ago) I was hooked when in the first minute or two there's a voiceover interview on TV with the Prime Minister and they say something along the lines of "You've been fighting this war for 10 years and clearly they're winning...what do you have to say?" and he says, "Beginner's luck!" - that, to me, is on some shit that's hilarious right now because...well, you know.

Anyway, the art direction in Brazil is beyond amazing. I LOVED the scenes in Sam's office with the desk being tugged back and forth, and the mob running through the Ministry of Information's facilities...brilliant in it's simplicity really. Almost the Office Space before Office Space, if you will. I know what you're thinking - "OH! Someone commenting on the monotony of office work! He's thinking what I'M thinking! How revolutionary!" - but really, it kind of was. He wasn't doing anything DIFFERENT but it was in a different way. Hell, The Apartment spoke on the monotony of office work...but Brazil was the first film (I've seen, anyway) to do it in the way that was parodied for years to come. The beauracracy, the lack of ambition, etc. Still relevant today.

The director's cut is great but it almost feels uneven in that certain things are just overexplained (love story) or underexplained (Robert DeNiro/Harry Tuttle). Much as I love the film...it's certainly uneven in many parts. I love Gilliam, but if he had his way, his films would have $400 million dollar budgets and 6 hour runtimes. His dream sequences, in both this and The Fisher King, are pretty ambitions but they are a little much in certain places.

I dunno, I like it...even if it goes against a lot of my general principles (longer than it needs to be, art over substance, thin story, etc.), but it's still a great film. I can't really explain it other than it's Gilliam.