thirty movies hath november – Brazil (1985)

ah, Brazil
a movie whose tagline should have been (but wasn't):   Mistakes? We don't make mistakes

yet we do. we do make mistakes, as in all bureaucracies, and someone will be found to blame.


Brazil is Terry Gilliam's dystopian vision of a not-too-far-future from a present that took an odd turn around the 1930's. there are many anachronisms and technical hybrids like old typewriters hooked up to tv screens and rotary telephones with amplifiers. the scenery and architecture are similarly affected: the public buildings pay hommage to 1930's German expressionism (think Metropolis), while apartments and other living spaces are oddly futuristic, with large numbers of exposed ducts everywhere.

the story references George Orwell's 1984 and Franz Kafka's The Trial.  the unnamed government bureaucracy has made a mistake by eliminating a Mr. Buttle rather than Mr. Tuttle, who's believed to be a terrorist of some kind. a low-level employee of the Ministry of Information, Sam Lowry, is assigned to investigate.  in this process, Lowry meets a neighbor of the widow Buttle, who is the same woman Lowry has been seeing in dreams.  Lowry meets the renegade Tuttle…

Harry Tuttle…at your service!

…and things get complicated.

the world of Brazil, while different from ours, is not that different.  consider a day at work in the Ministry of Information

a day at work

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


4 thoughts on “thirty movies hath november – Brazil (1985)

  1. If push came to shove and I was ever forced to pick a "favorite" film, this would be it. It has romance, action, adventure and Mike Palin!

Comments are closed.