December 9, Flying from JFK to SFO: I love this movie and I love this song. The song is perfectly in my register and I find myself singing it often. The movie is just the sort of oddball perplexity I’ve always had a weak spot for. It’s such a wonderful picture of byzantine bureaucracy, hilarious in its over-farcical concepts and technology stripped of its casings. The ducts featured throughout (and especially at the beginning: “I want to talk to you about ducts.”) are incredible set pieces, tying this world together no matter what scene you’re in.
Brazil takes place in my favorite location: the nameless European city riddled with mal-intended dysfunction. I love this city here, I love it in Alain Robbe-Grillet, and I’ve tried to write it myself a few times. It is the city with no exterior world, the wholly-contained metropolis. (“Where should we go?” “Anywhere.” “There isn’t anywhere.”)
Not the first time, but a memorable time when I watched this movie it was in a little terrible movie theater across the street from USC. They had a well-curated midnight movie series and we all made it out for this one. It was the perfect setting in which to watch Brazil: cramped, warm, stuffy. And the projector kept breaking throughout the film, at one point nearly burning through the print on the screen. I can’t even remember if we finished the film.
This time, though, I definitely finished the film and was a bit disappointed by it at the very finish. I remembered the ending quickly into the final sequence (Spoiler) and that it was all a dream. Watching this time and knowing that reveal was coming, the ending dream sequence seemed to drag. Oh for the first time viewing again. Or for the dysfunctional metropolis movie theater in Los Angeles, long since torn down.
Take a trip not to Brazil but to someplace that is not Brazil in a movie called Brazil, by purchasing this film not as a film but as a computer file on the internet.