Episode #4: Brazil


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In episode #4 we discuss the comedic dystopia "Brazil" from director Terry Gilliam. Sam Lowry, an average employee at the Ministry of Information, gets caught up in a quest to solve a bureaucratic mistake while simultaneously searching for the literal woman of his dreams. Starring Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro and Kim Greist.


Brazil - Criterion Collection

Terry Gilliam directed Brazil (as well as Twelve Monkeys starring Bruce Willis)

Back to The Future Part I (directed by Robert Zemeckis) did not show a dystopian future

Back to The Future Part II did show a dystopian future

The Ministry of Information in Brazil should not be confused with the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter

Monty Python - Dead Parrot sketch

Gilliam has referred to Brazil, Time Bandits, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen as his Imagination Trilogy

Blade Runner (starring Harrison Ford) was based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The Hudsucker Proxy - starring Paul Newman, Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh

Sucker Punch - starring Emily Browning also featured a battle with a giant samurai

Clue starring Tim Curry (which was also released in 1985) featured a young Jane Wiedlin as a singing telegram girl

Chris Tucker’s character (Ruby Rhod) in The Fifth Element (which also starred Iam Holm and Bruce Willis and was directed by Luc Besson) had a similar outfit as Katherine Helmond (Mrs. Ida Lowry) in Brazil.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wrote Cat’s Cradle, another ironic look at a dystopian future

George Orwell’s 1984 popularized the phrase Big Brother in reference to surveillance

The Hunger Games starring Jennifer Lawrence made dystopian futures popular again

While Jonathan Pryce (Sam Lowry) is known for his work in the Pirate’s of The Caribbean and Game of Thrones series, his most memorable role (per Adam) was as media mogul Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies

In order, the Pierce Brosnan / James Bond movies were:

1995 - GoldenEye (which also became a classic Nintendo 64 game) featuring Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp

1997 - Tomorrow Never Dies featuring Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin

1999 - The World is Not Enough featuring Denise Richards as Christmas Jones

2002 - Die Another Die featuring Halle Berry as Jinx Johnson

Terry Gilliam screened the entirety of Brazil for a film class at the University of Southern California

Robert De Niro played Harry Tuttle the “Heating Engineer”

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith starred in Bad Boys

Michael Palin (Jack) was a regular in Monty Python

Other regulars from Monty Python such as John Cleese, Terry Jones and the late Graham Chapman (who died in 1989) were not in Brazil

Peter Vaughan (Mr. Helpman) also played Uncle Alfie in Death at A Funeral and Master Aemon in Game of Thrones

American Psycho featured Christian Bale as lovable serial killer Patrick Bateman

The weird monsters in Sam’s dreams looked like skeksis from Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal

The scene where Sam unmasks the samurai seemed similar to the unmasking of Darth Vader in the swamp in Empire Strikes Back

Ian Holm (Mr. Kurtzmann) is well known for his roles as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of The Ringsand Sir William Gull in From Hell

The music in Brazil was scored by Michael Kamen who also scored the Lethal Weapon movies (with Eric Clapton) as well as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (which featured the song Everything I Do, I Do It for You by Bryan Adams

The mythology of Oedipus

The mythology of Icarus

Sam Lowry’s face looked suspiciously similar to Ziggy Stardust

16 episodes available. A new episode about every 36 days averaging 56 mins duration .