by Daniel Suddes
Brazil (1985) Directed by: Terry Gilliam Written by: Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, and Charles McKeown Produced by Arnon Milchan and Patrick Cassavetti Starring: Johnathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Ian Holm, Katherine Helmond, and Jim Broadbent Oscar Count: 0 (Nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Original Screenplay)
Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is a film that has had its reputation expand enormously since its release twenty seven years ago. When it was first released, this story of a lowly bureaucrat trapped in a vast, soulless world, who dreams of something more for himself was certainly acclaimed, but was not widely seen in the U.S. In part, this was due to a feud between the director and studio, which was almost as famous as the film itself. But it remained in the public consciousness, and is now recognized as the masterpiece that Gilliam set out for it to be. Continue reading
Vertigo (1958) Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Screenplay by: Alec Coopel and Samuel A Taylor Based on the Novel D’Entre Les Morts by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac Produced by: Herbert Coleman Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes Oscar Count: 0 (Nominated for Best Sound and Best Art Direction)
After the initial critical and box office failure of Vertigo, famed master of suspense, was never allowed to make another “film.”
Don’t get me wrong. Hitchcock made plenty of crowd pleasing films, that were successful critically and commercial. But except for Psycho, Hitchcock was never free to experiment again (and he only got away with that slasher shocker because it was cheap to make). The rest of his films were fairly standard, designed with the studio’s bottom line in mind. They also conform to the rigid standards of a thriller – good vs evil, intense action sequences, and the use of the Cold War or the media obsession with violent crime in the background. There was never an exploration of humanity or with analyzing what makes us tick.