Thursday, January 20, 2011

THE FILM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE: Richard Kelly on Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL

Movie City News provides an excerpt from THE FILM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE by Robert K. Elder. The book asks filmmakers about the movie that impacted them most.

Among the thirty equally appealing conversations, Kevin Smith talks Slacker; Danny Boyle, Apocalypse Now; Atom Egoyan, Persona; John Woo, Mean Streets; Frank Oz, Touch of Evil; Rian Johnson, Annie Hall; and Steve James, Harlan County U.S.A. In his introduction, Elder cites Reservoir Dogs as his own touchstone.

Richard Kelly, who directed DONNY DARKO, picks BRAZIL, by, of course, ex-cartoonist Terry Gilliam:

Elder: Gilliam has said Brazil was a documentary. He said he made none of it up.

Kelly: It is a documentary film with the brushstrokes of a profoundly mad genius who can create a fantasy world, but he created a fantasy world literally within—he re-created our world in a different visual language. I had never seen that done in any other film. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is maybe the closest approximation, but I think that Brazil certainly said many things that Metropolis couldn’t, maybe because Lang didn’t have the benefit of sound. Gilliam has an artist’s eye. He is someone who sees every frame as an oil painting. He meticulously assembles every frame with so much detail as to make that image worth watching dozens and dozens of times.

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