Dreams: November 1997 News BulletinEdited by Phil Stubbs
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Terry Gilliam Files by David Morgan
Brazil Script - Now Online
Also, a visit to PythoNET is heartily recommended too. A wonderfully designed new section on Brazil now exists there. Tell 'em Dreams sent you.
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Alex Cox on Brazil...
"One of the problems of working for small independent film companies is that sometimes the funding for their small independent films runs out in the middle and the film is never finished. Or if it is finished, the company goes bust and never brings it out.
"One of the problems of working for big rich studios is that the studio may lavish lots of money on big, ambitious, intellectually stimulating, artistic films and then just not like the finished product and refuse to bring it out. This is what happened to Brazil.
"Brazil was made in 1984 by Terry Gilliam. It’s the film that 1984 wasn’t, and should have been. It has all the atmosphere and the preoccupations of Orwell’s book plus references to Heavy Metal comics, Eisenstein, and Mad. Gilliam said, when asked where the story took place, "Somewhere on the Los Angeles/Belfast border." It was also inspired by his experiences at a police riot in Los Angeles, and by a visit to Port Talbot in Wales.
"Gilliam began his career as a cartoonist but made his reputation as the inventor of the cut-out animation on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In ’72, he co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the first and funniest of the Python films. He then made Jabberwocky and Time Bandits, which was a big international hit. Gilliam, like Stanley Kubrick, is an American filmmaker who resides in Britain. He’s a highly skilled visualist. Batman was shot by Roger Pratt - who photographed Brazil for Gilliam. It looks identical, only not as good.
"Gilliam is also a skilful director of actors. How can this be in one who comes not from the theatre, but from the drawing board? Gilliam’s answer: you just cast the movie right and the actors do the work.
"Gilliam’s contract with the large and nameless studio said that the film had to be a maximum of 2 hours and 5 minutes long. When he submitted a cut that was 2 hours and 11 minutes long the sensitive executives announced that they were going to re-edit the film, take out the nasty and the naughty bits and release it at a length of 90 minutes. This happens all the time in Hollyweird - the same fate befell The Magnificent Ambersons, A Star is Born, Naked City, Red Badge of Courage, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and most of Sam Peckinpah’s films.
"The same studio, when it couldn’t figure out how to re-edit a film would simply sit on it. This happened with Two-Lane Black Top, The Last Movie and Rumblefish. Brazil didn’t get a wide release in the United States but Gilliam did manage to prevent them from re-editing his film. By going to war with the studios in the pages of Variety, Gilliam made the executives look stupid and won a Los Angeles Critics’ award for himself and for his film.
"He called Brazil part two of a trilogy about the Ages of Man and the subordination of Magic to Realism. Part one being Time Bandits and part three Baron Munchausen. The studio executives called Brazil interminable to sit through and unreleasable. Here are all 12,842 fantastic feet: Brazil."
Spike Milligan talking about his father: "A particularly important thing my father did tell me, after waking up one night, was 'I've never really shot a tiger.' I said, 'It's three o'clock in the morning, why are you telling me this?' He said, 'I had to tell someone.' I asked, 'All this time you've been telling children you shot tigers, why did you go on doing it?' He replied, 'Which would you rather have - a boring truth or an exciting lie?' I wonder if he meant it. A classic remark from the Sixties was when he heard Kennedy had been shot in the head. He said 'It couldn't have happened to a nicer man.'"
What's new in this seventh release?
In this release, you will find the following new features:
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Phil Stubbs - Manchester, England. November 1997.