Brazil by Terry Gilliam


Terry Gilliam


The dystopian’s dystopia!

Brazil is one of my all time favorites. It is the blackest of black comedies, a “knight in shining armor” fantasy, an absurdist allegory, and an existential rant (with a bit of Monty Python thrown in for good measure). What’s not to like?! Set in a world of grey buildings and grey suits, the protagonist Sam Lowery (played pitch perfect by Jonathan Pryce) learns about the law of unintended consequences as his formerly boring life careens out of control.

Beware! There are different versions out there, including the “love conquers all” cut imposed by the studio execs (which of course is not worth watching). Robert De Niro is also great as the guerrilla heating repair man. “We’re all in this together!”

Metropolis (1927) by Fritz Lang


Fritz Lang


Silent with Musical Score

The scifi film from which all others spring! Recent restoration (by Kino) is very good, with recovered footage and original musical score. Worth watching again if all you’ve seen are the inferior low-budget prints. In spite of its age, this film has one of the best robots ever depicted on film!