Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced Brazil for Blu-ray release on July 12.
This dystopian science-fiction movie, with 1984 overtones and touches of pitch-
black comedy, takes a highly imaginative and chilling look at a "perfect" future where
technology reigns supreme and bureaucracy overrules love for the sake of efficiency.
"Finally, Disc Three includes the infamous 94-minute "Love Conquers All" television version of the Brazil. It's presented in full frame and features an alternate opening, an upbeat ending and many other changes that Gilliam himself refused to make. It's surprising just how different this version is. All of this footage was shot by Gilliam, but it was edited by someone else without his supervision (at Universal's direction), and you definitely see how editing can change things like character, tone and story. The video and audio quality here is just okay, but it's really only a curiosity piece anyway. It's more than good enough to serve its purpose for being included in the set. The "Love Conquers All" version features an audio commentary track by historian David Morgan. He's not as passionate about his commentary as Gilliam, but he does shed plenty of light on this cut of the film, pointing out which scenes were alternate takes and illuminating the plot points brought up in the more definitive version (and lost here)."
I hope rev.and.ride is right. Seeing Fear & Loathing on Criterion's Blu-ray release schedule really got my hopes up that they might be doing Brazil too.
Am I alone in thinking that the DVD box set is kind of frustrating? It has some great features, but the feature cut isn't an anamorphic transfer. I remember being really annoyed when I played it on my widescreen TV for the first time. I know the single-disc version they released later is anamorphic, but that just makes the box set even more frustrating.
I was hoping for another Criterion Release. I hope this is the Directors cut! After the horrible release of Time Bandits. Ughh I was hoping the turnaround point was Criterion's announcement of Fear and Loathing. Seeing how that was released originally by Universal maybe with time they will get to rerelease Brazil.
danner, I believe Criterion re-released the 3-disc box set in 2006 with an "All-new, restored high-definition anamorphic digital transfer" (quoted from the Criterion web site). Probably at the same time they released the single disc with anomorphic widescreen. I know it doesn't help if you already bought the earlier 3-disc release...
If it helps, I picked up the newer 3-disc set at Barnes and Noble last year during one of their periodic Criterion half-price sales.
It's funny you mention Barnes & Noble. I bought my copy there during one of their "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" deals. I can't remember if I bought it before or after 2006. If it was after, I guess it was a copy that had been on the shelf for a while.
well, since you own the 3-disc set (albeit the older release), you could buy just the newer singe-disc Criterion DVD at the next Barnes and Noble Criterion sale. Or you could buy the upcoming blu-ray if the features and price are right.
I am thinking about buying the blu-ray when it comes out and holding onto my 3-disc set for all of the bonus features...
The Criterion and 1998 Universal release are the European cut. I think it is the best one, yet I would love it if they added back the animation at the end. It was always a perfect touch. For someone who still has the Criterion LASERDISC, I won't mind the double dip if it comes out again on Criterion. I can still get the Commentary on LD.
When Brazil was first released I loved it. The insane imagery and the post monty python humor. Some years later I viewed Brazil on DVD for a second time and realized that the visuals were not enough to to captivate me and I saw a direction that got off of blowing your mind instead of enriching it. The documentary of Gilliam's struggles as director to get "his movie" released and not the very edited studio version did not show him in a good light. As all artists that tend to take themselves and their work too seriously the studio did him and the viewers a favor trimming trivial details when left in crush this movie into a heap of gimmicks. If you have not seen Brazil in a while I suggest you take anther look and you may agree it is artistic rambling without a leash and a three ring circus without a dependable ring master.
Is this gunna be one of those things like Fear & Loathing where Universal tries to distribute and then finally hands the reigns over to Criterion? If so, then I'll wait until Criterion gets the rights back.
@ kerryb: I didn't see Brazil until just a two or three years ago on cable and immediately fell in love with it. I still adore the film every time it's shown on TV (and I'm proud to have the existing Criterion DVD). I understand it, along with much of Gilliam's other work, certainly won't appeal to everyone. In fact, much of this director's work probably wouldn't appeal to legions of masses but tend to be stories told from a more creatively abstract, fantastical way. I don't feel Brazil, as cut by Gilliam, rambles, but it does address several topics and does so very well: Trying to be human and find love in an impersonal world. Disfunctional government and corporate bureaucracy. Isolation and alienation. Identity. Class. Consumerism. A "big brother" that controls all.
It really is his film in that he is the visionary behind the film and knows how he wants it to look, sound, "feel," etc. As the director he's responsible for setting the creative path of the film. Gilliam should have final say over what the end product would look like and he would be right in fighting for it. Studio administrators rarely make the best creative decisions for films as they tend to see films primarily from a business standpoint and merely want to please as many people in the audience as possible and lose sight of film as an artform and sometimes even as a work of potent entertainment. Yes, a work of art could alienate as many people as it pleases, but that's not the point. The point should be the expression of ideas, the imaginative telling of stories, developing intriguing characters and other art-related issues. A good film addresses these issues while also being entertaining or engrossing in some way to people who are able to appreciate the film on its own terms.
But, back to the BD release. I'm definitely going to wait for Criterion to provide a blu-ray upgrade of its edition of Brazil. I'm sure the studio will do a great job, as it did on the DVD.
will wait to see if Criterion announce this. if not, will be picking up the DVD. this film is far too good to be slappe donto a standard BD with no features
FYI, Criterion hold the license to the DC, Gilliam put it together soley for them to release. The TC is a shorter version that is Gilliam approved since he was at war with Universal during the making of it. hence the reason why the Love Counqers All version exists but was never released. if Universal had won, we woould of saw that version in cinemas. there is a book out about the battle Gilliam had with Universal. P.S proud owner of the Criterion LD that was signed personally by Gilliam
I'll pass. I love Brazil, but seeing what happened with Fear & Loathing makes me think that Criterion will get a chance to release a port of their 3-Disc set on Blu-Ray eventually, and I can wait for that release.
Even if Criterion does wind up releasing their own edition, I have a feeling it won't be a full carry-over of the 3-disc box. They released the Last Emperor on DVD in a deluxe 4-disc package with two different versions of the movie, but the BD is a pared down single-disc with just the theatrical cut.
Criterion is one of the few that actually listens to customers/criticisms. They will not repeat the "Last Emperor mistake". As long as they have the necessary legal rights and the bandwidth, Criterion will do a worthy Brazil BD release. Of this I have no doubt.
funny, people bitch about Universal for not releasing, then whe they do release, they complain that it should be Criterion, but in just a day or so criterion states that it is coming in the future, and possibly some other titles as well. This release is for the average consumer.
Criterion will make a full Blu-ray set. It would be a mistake to NOT carry-over the extras from the 3-disc DVD. As Cbono said, Criterion listens and judging from their recent efforts, ("Seven Samurai"/"Night of the Hunter"/"By Brakhage" etc) they won't repeat "The Last Emperor".
I wish Criterion wouldn't listen to its customers so much. Democracy is not always a good thing (the tyranny of mediocrity and so on...) There must be someone around here that knows what I'm talking about: "Hey guys, do you think Criterion will release Avatar/some-David-Fincher-film/some-Oscar-multi-nominated-picture?"
I don't understand the love Brazil and Fear and Loathing get. It's apples and oranges as far as the movies go, but when it comes to Gilliam movies Time Bandits and The Fisher King are better. Time Bandits got 1080i which sucks, but where's the love for The Fisher King?
I agree with repete66211; Fisher King is a better film all round than Brazil, which has a hero who supposedly represents a triumph of imagination, yet all his imagination is able to do is reject most of the world and the people around him. He never does anything particular with his supposed imagination, but remains isolated and solitary. In 1984, the hero being solitary makes sense; but in Brazil it just seems like some gesture that belongs to the film-maker rather than the character, that is, the character is not conceived as autonomous, but simply as a vehicle for Gilliam's ideas – which are themselves incompletely worked out. The film has all sorts of weird little plot and logic holes, stuff which looks cool, but doesn't make a lot of sense, and we're supposed to excuse them on the grounds that the whole thing takes place in his head while he's being tortured. But if you watch the film, that doesn't really make sense either, since we're clearly supposed to take the early going as set in a realistic world. It's not so much a truly oppressive state as it reflects a sort of comic oppression, a gallery of grotesques, and the politics and the comedy don't work well in harness. Gilliam has done a good job selling himself as an artist whose great work was hacked by the studio. But the truth is, imho, he made a kind of broken-backed film that never did make a lot of sense because he hasn't worked out the script and the story with sufficient care, so it's not so much ambiguous as it is, frankly, a mess. Fisher King tackles very similar themes, but does so with considerably more verve and a much better story with some solid, grounded performances. Skip Brazil, and watch Fisher King.
@BluPix, I never said Gillian wasn't a creative director with a vision however I would stop at saying he or Brazil are visionary. Brazil is visual bits and pieces strung together with a "serious" story about big brother, government bureaucracy , blah blah blah. Being about something important doesn't make Brazil important. Like most great artists they are only as good as the person that edits them. A great writer needs a fresh pair of eyes to see the strengths and weaknesses in a piece of literature. Most artists are unable or willing to "kill their darlings" for the sake of the larger work. Gillian in my opinion suffers from this than most. He falls in love with everyone idea good or bad that he is unable to focus on which idea helps his story and which make for an over bloated movie. Art got married to money centuries ago and unless you wish to starve for your art and artist needs to acknowledge that fact. If Gillian wished to pay for his movies than I agree it should be his vision completely. However in the real world a farmer has to sell off enough of his crop to buy seeds for the next planting season.