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Brazil Tag

25 years ago, on December 18, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil was released in the U.S. — thus ending one of the most famous battles in Hollywood history of a director taking on a movie studio and winning.

Brazil is set “somewhere in the 20th century” in some kind of Orwellian world where not only is Big Brother watching, but requires the proper paperwork to do so. The government is so inept, it’s comical — yet at the same time the system is quite capable of doing really terrible things.

Our “hero” of the story is Sam Lowry, a meek government employee played beautifully by the great Jonathan Pryce. I remember being amazed at the time by how Pryce could go from playing the menacing Mr. Dark in Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) to playing such a hapless soul in Brazil.

Sam Lowry works for the Ministry of Information and wakes up each morning to a fully-automated breakfast-making machine that, like most everything in this society, never quite works properly. The machine pours coffee all over his toast which leads to a funny bit of physical comedy where he attempts to eat the soggy piece of toast but it keeps flopping about in his hand. His ineffectual boss (Ian Holm), afraid of getting his own hands dirty, is delighted when Sam volunteers to hand-deliver a refund check to Mrs. Buttle, a woman whose husband was falsely arrested and tortured to death by the government — it seems the Buttles were overcharged for “information retrieval procedures.”

Hey, y’all. Matthew McConaughey here, fillin’ in for Mr. Mayor of Bootleg City this week. Cassanova gave me a jingle-jangle the other day and said, “Matty Mac, do me a solid and make a celebrity cameo in the BLC this week so I can cut out early for Labor Day. Surf, sand, sun, and sobriety — I’m all over it this weekend. Except for that last part, brother, knowwhatI’msayin’? Hahaha! Cool. Later.” (I did use the words “Labor Day.” The rest is from the mind of Matthew. —RC)

Hard to believe it’s been over a year since I last talked to y’all on Popdoze so Bobby C. could have another week off. I’m a big fan of Sugar Water (Stop it, you’re embarrassing me! —RC), so I was sad to see it move from entree to after-dinner mint on Bobby’s menu when he became mayor of Bootleg City last fall. But we all have to make sacrifices when we take on new responsibilities, don’t we?

Take me, for example — my son, Levi, is almost 14 months old. Can y’all believe that? Crazy. I can’t even remember life before he was born. Part of that’s because of the weed, but life really does change once you’re a daddy. And my wife, Camila, is expecting our second one by the end of the year.

Whoa, did I just say “wife”? Back up, y’all — that was a slip of the tongue. Camila’s my partner, my main squeeze, my colleague in baby raisin’ — but not my wife. Neither of us are into that right now. Maybe one day, but we’re not like normal people — we don’t need the tax breaks, know what I mean? When you’re rich, money has no effect on love.