Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Kim Greist,
Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm
1984, 142 Minutes, Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Description: A bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a
meek governmental clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed
by a simple bug. Not a software bug, a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's
famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets smooshed in a printer and causes a
typographical error unjustly identifying an innocent citizen, one Mr. Buttle, as
suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Sam becomes enmeshed in
unraveling this bureaucratic glitch, he himself winds up labeled as a miscreant.
Python does Orwell's 1984. There is
no other way to describe this anarchic, off-beat, irreverent
black humored movie. Which comes as no surprise really since it
is directed by ex-Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam who also
directed off-beat classics such as 12 Monkeys and Time
Bandits . . .
Kafkaesque and sick are some of the other adjectives that spring to mind. In other words: great and not
to be missed! One memorable scene has a
female member of the nouveau riche amiably chatting away about her recent facial
reconstructive surgery as bombs, set by terrorist groups opposed to the
omniscient state, explodes all over the restaurant they are in, spewing bloodied
corpses all over the place.
Another stunning scene has a
man being enveloped by newspapers blowing about in the wind. Then the wind blows
the newspapers away we find that he has completely disappeared . . .
in everybody's taste, but why risk missing one of the most
brilliant science fiction movies ever made?
Page Pick: Over-the-top,
grotesque, sick, great . . . If you're a Monty
Python fan then you'll know who Terry Gilliam is. Having made such off-beat films
such as The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King
and 12 Monkeys, Gilliam is one of the most original and singular talents haunting
the Hollywood byroads. If you're not a Python fan, then that's no excuse to miss this
wildly surreal movie about an Orwellian dystopia.
Top 100 Sci-Fi
of all time