Sunday, March 16, 2008

Welcome to the team, DZ-015.

The other night I watched Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Really enjoyed it. Wow.
Visually, it is amazing. Characters are fantastic, and so is the acting (wow for the cast!). Jonathan Pryce as Sam Lowry is priceless. (that pun was absolutely unintentional-ignore it please) It's funny, dark, very good.

Brazil is about Sam Lowry, a man contented with his dead-end job at the Ministry of Information and in his escapes into fantasies (see above picture). In an effort to to correct a informational error, get his heating fixed, and pursue in real life the woman he sees in his dreams, Sam ends up with a partially unwanted promotion and in the position of working somewhat against the government and the system..... and ends up being accused of being a terrorist.

Brazil, according to Rottentomatoes:
BRAZIL is Terry Gilliam's masterpiece. Cowritten by Gilliam, playwright Tom Stoppard, and Charles McKeown, the cult-favorite film is set in a futuristic society laden with red tape and bureaucracy. When a bug (literally) gets in the system, an innocent man is killed, leading mild-mannered Sam Lowry (an excellent Jonathan Pryce) to reexamine what he wants out of life. He decides to fight the totalitarian system in his search for freedom--and the woman he loves. The terrific, offbeat cast features Robert De Niro as a renegade heating engineer; Katherine Helmond as Sam's ever-younger mother; Michael Palin as a government-sanctioned torturer with a distaste for upsetting the status quo; Bob Hoskins as a vengeful Central Services employee; Jim Broadbent as a wacko plastic surgeon; the wonderful Ian Holm as Sam's nerve-ridden, pitiful boss, afraid of his own signature; and Kim Greist as the rebel Sam falls for. The look of BRAZIL is relentless, overwhelming, and outrageously spectacular. Giant monoliths rise from the street; government offices are a network of computers, pneumatic tubes, and narrow hallways built with Nazi-like precision; and apartment complexes are a maze of washed-out grays and numbers, all frighteningly uniform. The terrorist explosions actually bring color into this dull, monochromatic world. BRAZIL is a nightmare vision of the future, yet also hysterically funny and incisive, one of the most inventive, influential, and important films of the

Oh, Robert De Niro as the outlaw/vilgiante heating engineer Harry Tuttle is magical. I'm kind thick and didn't even realize it was De Niro until the credits.
"I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's trouble, a man alone."
on youtube here
I'm way into Robert De Niro right now, though rather inactively. I was watching Raging Bull on ESPN Classics, and I saw Taxi Driver at the beginning of the semester for the first time. Wow, was that a good movie. And wow was he young. And wow was he cute. yessir he was. (and now I have the Clash stuck in my head...)

There is a nice breakdown of the movie, with regards to cyberpunkness,and in general, too, here. (plus there are really nice screencaps)

I was watching this on-the-set documentary/featurette that comes on the second disc of the fancy 3 disc magical Criterion edition, and Tom Stoppard talked a bit. He wrote one of the script versions for it, but it was funny b/c you could sense the tension, both when he and Gilliam talked, between them with regards to their ways of working and their ideas. I saw Stoppard's Arcadia performed at school before the break, and I am in love with Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead.... So I thought I'd mention that.....

So if anyone has the soundtrack to Brazil or any copies of the song "Brazil" (the featurette had a nice version by Helen O'Connell-- I don't have that song but wait for some things from her on Gen/Dis Friday), I'd love to have them and post them. I tried finding the Brazil soundtrack but all I found were links to bit/torrent/whatever that is, I'm not sure.

AND, on a side note, according to IMDB, Ellen Barkin was considered for playing Jill, and was Gilliam's favorite audition. Ellen Barkin, Penny Priddy, BUCKAROO BANZAI. The AMAZING walking theme to Buckaroo Banzai is on the sidebar, if anyone has the entire soundtrack and wants to share I will worship you forever....

Also, Ian Holm is was in Brazil..... I like Ian Holm a ton because he was the voice of Frodo in the BBC radio play of The Lord of the Rings (here, and previous post here, but I don't think the links are working anymore..?), which is fantastic, and is the hilarious priest Vitto Cornelius in THE FIFTH ELEMENT, a movie which I have been obsessed with since Decemeber 31, 2007 and probably watched 5 times in the month of January. I found the OST here, third one down, have not given it a listen yet though.

The fellow, Ian Richardson, who plays Bill Haydon in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was in Brazil. I'm obsessed with that too, don't think I will ever get over it. or John Le Carre/ George Smiley and the Circus in general......

whoa whoa whoa. After doing some more IMDB and wiki stalking:
Ian Richardson played Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildernstern Are Dead (the film)
Ian Holm played Polonius in the Zeferelli/Mel Gibson Hamlet.
Both Ians were in From Hell (which I have not seen). Weird, man. BUT I guess I shouldn't find it too surprising that two good British actors named "Ian" that I like should actually be in movies.....

I also watched, being a TCM addict, Blowup the other night. Directed by Italian Michelangelo Antonioni and with David Hemmings as a mod London photographer who may have photographed a murder that Vanessa Redgrave's character may have been involved in.

It was good, some parts were odd. And the Yardbirds appeared in it. My dad pointed out a young Eric Clapton.... and I went "which one?"... I think it speaks to my age and my musical upbringing (my dad never had us listen to any Clapton or Yardbirds or anything... I know Derek and the DOmino's "Layla"-- I used to be able to play it, but that's it...) at I still didn't know which guitarist he was pointing at. The one who was smashing his guitar? (wiki says that was Jeff Beck and seems to indicate that Clapton was gone by the time they were in Blowup ... I didn't even know Jeff Beck or Jimmy Page were in the Yardbirds... whatever. I don't know anything about the Yardbirds.) I'm not sure. But it was good, even if the main character, the photographer was kinda a jerk. I know I'm gonna have to watch it later for my Film History Class, so I'll think about it then.... But it was good. Soundtrack by Herbie Hancock, which seems odd for a mod movie? But what do I know about Herbie Hancock anyway? Very little.

here are someone's thoughts on it, as well as some clips, I think, if you click on the screenshots?

Two nights ago, TCM was playing Bunny Lake is Missing, which I watched the end of, which apparently had The Zombies in it, Robert Osbourne said so, but I didn't see that part. Oh well.

Oh and P.S. To second what B said previously, GO SEE IN BRUGES! It's really good and it's got Townes. And its really good. It is dark dark dark dark, but it is very funny at times and it is just a pretty darn good movie.

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