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Subject: "So okay, I read a lot of sci-fi in high school" This topic is locked.
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Sat Dec-30-06 03:14 PM

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25. "So okay, I read a lot of sci-fi in high school"
In response to In response to 23



>I recommend it. I really think rewatching movies at different
>points in your life make all the difference in the world,
>especially films that give you strong negative opinions.

Well, it was about exactly one year ago that I watched it (I spent Christmas last year in my friend's empty apartment finally laboring through it) so I don't think it's going to unfold too much more for me at this point. I mean, I own it (it was a gift, a very good one) so I'll definitely re-watch it at some point. I dunno, you really have to be in the right mood for this one.

>But see, there's a problem inherent in that argument, and it's
>the problem with every "there's no original messages anymore"
>argument. Those things don't seem unique because they continue
>to be relevant, and when issues continue to be relevant,
>satire will continue to base their stories on these problems.
>The originality comes in the vision, in the delivery of it,
>and it's my belief that what you call the "art direction" is
>including the story, the characters, the world of the film.
>Every little thing is an absolutely important detail, so you
>can watch this movie several times and still not get the
>ENTIRE vision of the future. It's not just a visual thing,
>it's the storytelling through the visuals as the plot

I know, I hate the "no idea is original" sentiment as well, but the elements I mentioned felt like reminders of other works I had enjoyed, and not really fully developed points like they were in the other work. 1984 FULLY explores Big Brother, to the extent that it's taken on a whole cultural baggage itself. Brave New World FULLY explores the social hierarchies, whereas it just comes up as a footnote in Brazil, just a quick detail that disappears rather completely.

The Fahrenheit 451 connection, yeah -- that's not that strong. I think mainly I don't like stories where it's romance or love that saves the protagonist. Like he'd be nothing if it wasn't for the girl. It's a sort of weird masculine desire for a female to fill in all their holes, and you see it time and time again. I guess I'd just rather have the character discover and explore himself, and not have this female icon for him to pour everything into.

Also the beauracracy satire thing just gets old. Waiting in lines and rubber-stamping lol. I mean, we've all been to the DMV and traded stories and bitched about it and etc. etc. etc. It's like pointing out that politicians sometimes fib, it's just not very insightful.

>What exactly do you feel this film "does"? For me, I think
>this Gilliamesque pessimism combined with the wicked sense of
>humor combined with the absurdist visuals...turning THAT into
>the "standard dystopian tale" is something no other film has
>achieved to the degree that this one has. No "Brave New World"
>style vision of the future used such absurdist imagery, or
>gets so much laughter. You might even argue that not many
>views of the future get too much darker than this one. I think
>this film does a number of things, many of which are better
>than any attempts by other directors, specifically the VERY
>difficult task of handling pessimistic humor and making it hit
>so consistently within the context of science-fiction social
>satire (nice alliteration).

Your point about the humor is a good one. Too many works that treat this dystopian kind of thing never break to smile ONCE. The scenes with his mother are funny, if not a little misplaced, but yeah, the humor is definitely one thing that makes this film stand out.

Otherwise like I said above, I think it alludes to elements more than it actually explores them. Overall it's almost just a romantic comedy. It's more about love and cheap satire than it is about any real exploration of these ideas which are alluded to in the film.

>>In the end, I'd rather watch Blade Runner again, then read a
>>Brave New World and call it a day.
>I think both of them achieve different things than Brazil

Right, I do too, but like I said, I think they achieve more, which is why I prefer them. (I know I threw Blade Runner in there tangentially, it's just my favorite film sci-fi of all time, that's the only connection.)

>The pace you could argue, especially when in the sections
>where he's merely "showing us the world," not moving along the
>plot. The plot is admittedly rather thin. BUT I think there is
>a story there, and the story allows us to see this vision that
>truly is a one-of-a-kind, hilarious, and potentially brilliant
>creation. It's hit-and-miss in terms of sheer moviemaking and
>storytelling, but I think that's a product of the ambition.

Right, I definitely like it for what it is -- a huge fight against the studio in the name of artistic freedom, a very very imaginative and creative piece to look at, and one of the FEW sci-fi films that is ANYTHING besides a space soap opera.

I just don't see it as this particularly great or enjoyable film experience, and as far as sci-fi's ability to show us an alternate future, a different version of our society, and really explore certain social theories or dynamics in a way that illuminates the present day, I think it fails. It's just a love story with some funny scenes. I swear, It's more RomCom than anything really insightful.

Having typed all this, I'll have to watch it again soon. Come on people, chime the fuck in! I know lots of folk have seen it.




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Okayplayer Movie Club: Brazil by Terry Gilliam [View all] , Frank Longo, Mon Dec-25-06 11:51 AM
Subject Author Message Date ID
wens the deadline?
Dec 25th 2006
Brazil's in HD Thursday on UniversalHD
Dec 25th 2006
The HD version of this is like watching an ENTIRELY NEW FILM
Jan 01st 2007
Some HD screen captures here (link)
Jan 01st 2007
I will be discussing this one with ya'll.
Dec 25th 2006
This is in my Top 2 of favorite movies of all time
Dec 25th 2006
What's the 90 minute version like? I've only seen director's cut.
Dec 25th 2006
      A lot of the darker tones of the film are weakned quite a bit
Dec 26th 2006
okay... i'll gladly join in for this one
Dec 25th 2006
I can get down with this one. One of my all-time favorites...
Dec 26th 2006
Which cut? n/m
Dec 26th 2006
most overrated movie in the history of ever.
Dec 26th 2006
Care to explicate?
Dec 26th 2006
most overrated movie in the history of ever.
Dec 26th 2006
I really didn't care for this film
Dec 28th 2006
saw the director's cut...
Dec 28th 2006
DeNiro's most overlooked performance...
Dec 28th 2006
Overlooked? He was in one scene the whole movie
Dec 28th 2006
      you didn't even finish the movie!
Dec 28th 2006
           I didn't have to finish the movie to see that 4 minute scene.
Dec 29th 2006
                If you think Harry Tuttle's an insignificant role, you missed a LOT.
Dec 29th 2006
weird as fuck.. but good...
Dec 29th 2006
I like the direction more than I do the writing.
Dec 29th 2006
      I agree, there are a lot of memorable images in Brazil.
Dec 29th 2006
I want to like this film, but I don't get it
Dec 29th 2006
Okay, since no one else is talking, I'll retort the best that I can:
Dec 29th 2006
Your points are incredibly valid, but I've still gotta say...
Jan 01st 2007
Like many films about postmodernity...
Dec 31st 2006
so, i FINALLY watched this for the first time. some thoughts
Jan 18th 2007
I'm still undecided on whether to watch this . . .
Jul 04th 2007
Watch it.
Jul 05th 2007

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