Brazilian Nights

A few days ago I watched Terry Gilliam's (of Monty Python fame and director of 12 Monkeys) 1985 movie 'Brazil'. The story reminds me of '1984', but not quite as dark and ominous. Set in a government-controlled, information-overloaded future, Sam Lowry works in huge government beaurocracy, called the Ministry of Information.

The movie weaves in and out of the 'real world' and Lowry's dreams/fantasies of meeting this angel-like woman, whom he eventually sees in real life and thus begins his pursuit for her. The thing is, this woman is unjustly wanted by the Ministry as a suspected terrorist. Somehow, due to an administrative error which he attempts to correct, Lowry becomes a victim of the very system he works for, guilty of wasting the Ministry's time and paper.

To quote the 'Brazil' FAQ [www.trond.com]
Brazil is a film which rolls up many of the problems of the century into one big plot: industrialization, terrorism, government control and bureaucracy (from both capitalist and socialized countries), technology gone wrong, inept repair people, plastic surgery, love, and even modern filmmaking. Especially love.

The movie works on several levels, and frequently, peripheral items in the scene like posters, interviews on TV in the background clue us in on what is going on in the world in the movie. It may seem quite confusing and require multiple viewings to fully appreciate it. It's not often a relatively old movie keeps me engrossed throughout, but this is one of those few.