Belmont Club

Culture post of the day: Form 27B

The Wikipedia article on the 1985 movie Brazil says:

Brazil is a 1985 film directed by Terry Gilliam. … John Scalzi’s Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies describes the film as a “dystopian satire”.

The film centers on Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a young man trying to find a woman who appears in his dreams while he is working in a mind-numbing job and living a life in a small apartment, set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. Brazil’s bureaucratic, totalitarian government is reminiscent of the government depicted in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, except that it has a buffoonish, slap-stick quality, and lacks any kind of figurehead.

Jack Mathews, movie critic and author of The Battle of Brazil (1987), characterized the film as “satirizing the bureaucratic, largely dysfunctional industrial world that had been driving [Gilliam] crazy all his life.” Though a success in Europe, the film flopped upon initial release in North America, even with the extra publicity of the fight with the studio. It has since become an important cult film.


It is a world where freedom, as we remember it, is a forgotten concept. But everything is well regulated, perhaps too well regulated. And despite appearances, it is not safe. “The film often mentions an ambiguous form called 27B-Stroke-6. 27B was the number of George Orwell‘s apartment in London.” There’s actually a G20 Pro-Capitalist Counter-protest, whose tagline is “We don’t want your charity; we don’t need your chains” scheduled for today.

Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Time: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Location: April 1st – Outside the Bank of England (The Museum portion of it – outside Bank station)
City/Town: London, United Kingdom

Does life imitate art, or is it the other way around?

[youtube 4Wh2b1eZFUM]

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