Friday, May 25, 2012
How exactly did Terry Gilliam predict the Bush administration?
Late night YouTube surfing brought me unexpectedly to the opening sequences of Brazil, certainly one of the greatest movies of the last thirty years. And I was shocked at how much more chilling I found it today than I did back in the day. The prediction of the Bush administration's "War on Terror" is so exact in every detail - the compulsively consuming populace, the metastasized surveillance state, the terrorist threat whose real cause is denied, the technocrat dreaming he's a winged superhero - God, it's almost terrifying. Was any director ever more prescient than Terry Gilliam? I doubt it. The only thing that makes this film feel like a "fantasy" at all is the 1948-Orwellian production design. If a remake were to replace all the ducts and typewriters with digital technology, Brazil would count as a documentary. Which struck me as a good message for Memorial Day weekend. So go ahead, WTWT. Take a long look in the mirror. It's on YouTube in its entirety.