Welcome To Dystopia
It's 1985 in a darkened movie theater in San Francisco.
The silver screen flickers as shadows of light and dark play across the uplifted faces of moviegoers. Movie scenes pour into the theatre revealing a retro-futuristic world with clacking machines, commonplace bombings and a controlling government dominated by indeterminate rules, bureaucracy and rampant spying.
It's not easy to discern what's real and what isn't. Is this simply the strange life of a movie character reeling before our eyes or a director's distorted dystopia? Or both?
Welcome to the movie, Brazil.
Brazil The Movie
Say hello to Sam Lowry. He lives in England in some unspecified future time.
Sam works in a mind-numbing job and lives in a small apartment. It's set in a consumer-driven world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. One tiny mistake turns Sam's life inside-out and we watch as his world careens out of control.
In 1985, Brazil was a fantastical movie with a sinister warning of what could befall us if we were not careful. With many scenes stretched to the edge of possibility, none of us thought that it could be a harbinger of what our lives might become.
And yet, here it is.
The Bombs Go Off
Terrorism is an ongoing problem in Sam's futuristic society. In one scene, the characters are dining in a restaurant. A bomb explodes right next to them. People are wounded and injured, parts of the room are destroyed and on fire.
But, don't fret, the waiters put up a screen to block the view of the carnage. Sam and his dinner guests, along with the other restaurant customers, carry on with their meals.
When I left the movie theatre, I remember saying to myself with the clarity of a cold, clear spring bursting forth from a mountain crevice after a spring thaw:
My firm affirmation provided comfort and certitude that this sort of thing would not come to pass.
Fast forward in time.
Movie Scenes Become Reality
Quoted below is what one news anchor said on BBC after the bombing in Manchester, England in May 2017.
No. Just no.
I stand by my first thought back in 1985.
We will never "get used to it" and we must not accept that we have to live side-by-side with terrorism.
Shoes As Hats
In the movie, Sam's mother makes a fashion statement by wearing an upside-down shoe as a hat when she goes out to dinner. Quite the exaggeration. Surely, this is over the top.
Then, Philip Traecy created a hat that was worn by Princess Beatrice at Kate and William's wedding in 2011. A shoe hat might have been considered tame in comparison. Not so absurd or over the top, after all.
The Traecy hat garnered a lot of attention and press coverage. Enough so, that Princess Beatrice donated the hat to be sold at auction on eBay. The final bid was £ 81,100.01 and the proceeds went to UNICEF and Children in Crisis.
A Bit Of A Complication
Sam's mother and her friends obsess over plastic surgery and debate which surgeon is the best. A singing telegram arrives at Sam's apartment with an invitation to his mother's party "to celebrate the completion of her recent cosmetic surgery."
One of his mother's friends goes to a different surgeon who uses "acid surgery" and ends up with her face swaddled in bandages oozing bodily fluids. She proclaims in a high-pitched voice, "There's been a little complication with my complication."
In 1985, cosmetic surgery was much less prevalent than it is today. Now, it is ubiquitous and used by young and old alike. Botox, fillers and lifts are available for all parts of our bodies that inherently succumb to earth's gravitational pull. Another bit of foreshadowing in the movie.
Sit Back And Watch The Show
For example, you could focus on Front Position #1 in the heart, or a combination of positions, such as one hand on the abdomen and one in the heart. If you're finding a scene to be stressful, TRT® hands-on can be applied to Front Positions #3 or #4 or Back Positions #3 or #4.
Watching the movie with an "inner filter of real light" helps to bring insight to your viewing and supports you in light as you're experiencing it.
A Carefully Crafted Movie
Filled with twist and turns veering up, down and around, there are delightful comedic moments that will leave you chuckling even after the credits roll past.
Every vignette is a carefully crafted jewel. Terry Gilliam, the director, didn't compromise with throw-away scenes.
Dream sequences morph into real scenes and back again, except, wait, which parts are real and which are not?
The malfunctioning of omnipresent machines, the frustration of filling out forms and awkward personal interactions spill across the story line. Our lives are messy despite our best intentions to keep the ink from smearing all over our carefully written essay.
Perhaps the real existential battle lies within ourselves and the machinations of outer living are only there to serve as a frame on which to hang our inner struggles.
As the scenes spin past, you'll be surprised at the many parallels reflected in our lives today – in a movie from 1985.