Hidden Meaning in Brazil – Earthling Cinema

Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Brazil, directed by
sketch comedian Terry “Monty” Python from the legendary Python Brothers. The film follows a government stooge named
Sam Lowry, whose meaning of life is to dream of flying circuses — his holy grail. He lives in a strange, dystopian version of
Earth where the primary technological achievement is the magnifying glass. Due to a bug in the system, the government
jails an innocent man named Buttle instead of a terrorist named Tuttle. I mean, I guess the “T” and “B” keys are sort
of near each other on human keyboards, but still, get it together guys. While trying to smooth things over with Buttle’s
widow, Sam encounters her neighbor Jill, who in addition to always playing that damn rock
and roll music at all hours, bears a striking resemblance to the female lead from his dreams. Unfortunately she runs away before he has
the chance to creepily leer at her. Also, Sam meets the real Tuttle, an Italian
air conditioner repairman with a penchant for Irish goodbyes. In order to more effectively Facebook stalk
Jill, Sam accepts a position as the government’s social media intern. None of that matters though, because as everyone
knows, the best way to find someone is by running into them accidentally at the office. He tries to kidnap his way into Jill’s heart,
but Jill doesn’t go for all that mushy stuff. She doesn’t care about flowers or chocolate-covered
flowers. She likes guys who get hit by trucks. And she really likes guys who help her fake
her own death. But their romantic weekend is ruined when
Sam is arrested for his necrophilia. He’s about to be tortured when suddenly Tuttle
and his terrorist friends bungee jump in and rescue the shit out of him. Then everything gets all surreal and dreamlike,
what with Tuttle disappearing into a swirl of papers and Sam falling through a coffin
into a black chasm of nothingness, etc. etc. This goes on for a while until — surprise! It was all a dream. Sam is still back there being tortured, and
the film has gone on so long it’s driven him insane. But hey, at least he still remembers the theme
song! Brazil is a parody of 20th century governments,
which grew bloated and expensive due to bureaucracy and sugary soda. In the film, the Ministry is so caught up
in its own administrative procedures that even the paperwork requires paperwork, which
in turn requires… you guessed it, paperwork. All the ducts everywhere symbolize the inefficiency
of the state as well as the glaring need for duct tape — Earth’s #1 tape for over five
thousand years. They create a maze of endless routing, just
like the labyrinth of government agencies that shuffle petitioners from place to place
until they finally just give up and die like the puny mortals they are. This inefficiency enables the government to
grow unchecked like a mole on your back, all while sheltering its agents from accountability
with metaphorical sunscreen. And in a system where such disorganization
benefits those in power, efficiency is considered a crime. And not a fun, victimless crime like torrenting. When Tuttle pokes around in Sam’s wires without
the requisite paperwork, he is undermining the very soft, silky fabric of society. However, Sam’s final dream sequence suggests
that even Tuttle, who seemingly transcended the system, is ultimately smothered by it. That or he just likes paper mache. The characters lack any meaningful connection
with each other, which is symbolized by their tendency to communicate through barriers and
holes instead of neuro-melding their brainwaves with iCloud. This alienation erodes their sense of empathy,
grinding it down into a vestigial little nub on the bottom of their souls. At first, Sam exemplifies this behavior. When a bomb explodes in the restaurant, it’s
only a minor inconvenience to him. But as Sam begins to break free from the system,
his empathy increases. At a later bomb explosion, he actually pays
attention and learns to stop and smell the sulfur. The film suggests that empathy is itself a
form of subversion. The government can only get away with its
crimes when people are pitted against each other. In other words, their natural state. The title of the film and its theme song suggest
an exotic place to which one can escape and practice his Portuguese. Characters use fantasy to access this refuge,
either through the nostalgia of classic films, or in Sam’s case, his reductive messiah complex. But in the end, the only way for Sam to find
permanent respite from government oppression is through insanity. And that’s a plan just crazy enough to work. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. Ciao.

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