Sordid Cinema Podcast #541: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ Cuts Through Bureaucratic Red Tape to Create a Near-Masterpiece

by Sordid Cinema
Published: Last Updated on

Terry Gilliam’s Brazil Review

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by former Sound on Sight/Sordid Cinema Podcast co-host Simon Howell to talk about Terry Gilliam’s 1985 ambitious dark satire, Brazil. From its incredible vision and art design to the cavalcade of quirky supporting performances by the likes of Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, and Jim Broadbent (among others), there’s plenty to gush over. Sure, the romantic subplot is a bit of a dud (despite some Freudian overtones), but Gilliam’s story of a low-level government employee who meets the literal girl of his dreams while trying to escape a monotonous life of over-complicated machinery and stacks of paperwork resulting from a totalitarian authority is still just as potent and refreshingly unique today as it was back then.

Join us as we discuss just what makes Brazil so special even to this day, marvel over the inventive and often seamless practical effects, suggest some alternative ways to implement the character of Jill Layton, and rank where this entry stands in Gilliam’s filmography. For those dreaming of movies that escape the standard story formula and aesthetic, it doesn’t get much better than this. Have a listen!


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