Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Terry Gilliam Should Sue

Glenn Greenwald serves up unintentional black comedy from the National Review:

One of its writers, S.T. Karnick... named the genuinely superb 1985 Terry Gilliam film, Brazil, as #22 on the list. When doing so, Karnick wrote -- and this is really a quote that appears in National Review's Corner (h/t Crust1):

Terry Gilliam’s Brazil portrays a darkly comic dystopia of malfunctioning high-tech equipment and the dreary living conditions common to all totalitarian regimes. Everything in the society is built to serve government plans rather than people.

The film is visually arresting and inventive, with especially evocative use of shots that put the audience in a subservient position, just like the people in the film. Terrorist bombings, national-security scares, universal police surveillance, bureaucratic arrogance, a callous elite, perversion of science, and government use of torture evoke the worst aspects of the modern megastate.

Is it even theoretically possible for someone's brain to allow them to write that last sentence in National Review as listing the hallmarks of "a totalitarian regime" and "the worst aspects of the modern megastate" without simultaneously realizing that this is everything that same magazine has cheered on for the last eight years at least?

Further down, Greenwald quotes an interview with Gilliam about filmmaking and political perspectives. Gilliam's response was remarkable:

City Pages: You're often described as a fabulist, but isn't Tideland a political movie for the No More Mr. Nice Guy age?

Terry Gilliam: Have people forgotten I made Brazil? George W. [Bush], [Dick] Cheney, and company haven't. I'm thinking of suing them for the illegal and unauthorized remake of Brazil.

He should.

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