A couple of movie questions.

Hello to anyone who happens to look at this thread. I’m wondering if you could help me out with a couple of film questions. They are:

  1. My girlfriend is a huge ‘Brazil’ fan (as she is of all Gilliam’s films and so am I) and she says there is a different cut of the film out there which has different scenes. She also made some veiled references to Santa Clauses in the ending. Can anyone confirm the existence of this different cut of the movie and if possible show me where to get my hands on a copy? I would love to suprise her with it because she says its her favorite movie.

  2. This is somewhat simpler. I saw a movie that I believe Steve Buscemi directed and starred in. It was about a director who encounters tons of difficulties trying to shoot one sensitive scene in the film. I think it might have been in black and white but I can’t be sure its been years since I’ve seen it.

Well that’s it. I would appreciate any help you gentlemen and ladies can give me. I will now resume lurking.

  1. There are different cuts of “Brazil”. Check the Internet Movie Database to get all the details http://us.imdb.com
    Terry Gilliam and Lew Wasserman had a major to do over the issue.

  2. The movie you are referring to here is “Living in Oblivion”. It was directed by Tony DiCillo.

Thank you so much for your help BobT. The link you posted gave me some excellent information about the European release of the film. And thank you again for giving me the title to the other movie which had been on the tip of my tongue for weeks.

The IMDB database didn’t seem to be much help in actually acquiring the movie. Any suggestions on where to look for that? If you don’t don’t worry about it the information you already gave me will be a big help in tracking down a copy.

Dammit I just found the link it gave to the UK Amazon.com to get the movie. Disregard the last post except for the Thank you’s. I guess I should stick to lurking…

the criterion release contains:

DISC ONE—THE FINAL CUT: New, pristine widescreen transfer of Terry Gilliam’s 142-minute final cut • Remastered Dolby® stereo surround soundtrack • Shot-by-shot audio commentary by Terry Gilliam • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition • DISC TWO—THE SUPPLEMENT: What is Brazil?, Rob Hedden’s 30-minute on-set documentary • The Battle of Brazil: A Video History, an original 56-minute Criterion documentary by Jack Mathews • Screenwriters Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeown illuminate the script through several drafts and treatments • Production designer Norman Garwood displays his designs for Brazil’s unique sets • Costume designer James Acheson on the couture of fantasy and fascism • Storyboards for Gilliam’s original dream sequences, many of which didn’t make it into the film • Composer Michael Kamen unveils the sources of his score • A study of the special effects • Theatrical trailer • Publicity and production stills • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition • DISC THREE—The “Love Conquers All” Version: The 94-minute cut of Brazil, with all the changes that Gilliam refused to make, from the alternate opening to the controversial happy ending • Audio commentary by Gilliam expert David Morgan

That is Tom DiCillo.

There were three versions of Brazil. The story is at The Internet Movie Database. One version does appear to have Santa Claus in it.

The Criterion Brazil is a must-have for any serious film buff. It was one of the first things I bought when my sweetie gave me a DVD player for Christmas.

Your gf’s mention of Santa Claus is in reference to an additional scene, cut from the general release (both European and American) but present on the DVD, where Sam Lowry runs into Helpmann during his interrogation at the end. (This is part of a long sequence where Sam, in one of the “prisoner bags,” is hung from the ceiling and run along a track to a series of interrogation cubes. Highly surreal.) Helpmann, of course, is the guy in the wheelchair who Sam assists in the bathroom, and who then writes “'ere I am, J.H.” in the spilled talc. He’s also the guy on the TV screen at the beginning who says the terrorists’ success can be attributed to “beginner’s luck.” Anyway, when Sam meets Helpmann again, in a padded cell, Helpmann, for reasons too complicated to explain here, is in a Santa outfit.

Even more fascinating, though, on the DVD, is the studio cut of the film, which eliminates major sequences, shuffles others, and, incredibly, inserts mind-bogglingly cheap footage of computer screens (complete with echoing voice-over for viewers who can’t read) to make various bits of exposition clear. If you’re familiar with the hassles Gilliam went through to make the film, and if you’ve ever wondered just how much impact an alternate edit can really have, you must see this version. It amounts to nothing less than an out-and-out rape of Gilliam’s film. The fact that Gilliam’s vision survived and has since been acknowledged as a modern classic does take the sting out of it a bit, but the near-miss of having a masterpiece knocked down and gutted is little short of appalling. Makes us film geeks want to go back in time and rescue a print of The Magnificant Ambersons, among others.

Anyway, you should note that all of this is available on DVD only. If you’re still in VHS Land, you’re out of luck.