Almost butchered by its studio, Universal, which actually cut an alternate version with a happy ending, Terry Gilliams grim 1985 Kafka-meets-Python fantasy might seem an odd choice for the Lenten Film Series, with its theme of Anti-Depressant but it may prove to be the movies most accurate imagining of things to come. Gilliams horrific black comedy envisions the future as one giant, oppressive Department of Motor Vehicles, with Jonathan Pryce as a low-level daydreamer in a vast (and vastly inefficient) government agency. Visually, the movie is a staggering achievement: Norman Garwoods production design evokes an unforgettable futuristic morass of exposed ductwork and tombstone-like high-rises, and Roger Pratts distorted camerawork disorients us with dizzying vertical leaps (which hed reprise a few years later in Tim Burtons Batman) that make vertigo the ruling sensation of the future. And Gilliams downbeat ending carries an inkling of hope: Regardless of torture or imprisonment, the oppressors of the world can never regulate our dreams. In dreams, like Pryces meek hero, we soar. Free and open to the public, preceded by a free light meal at 6 p.m.
Thu., March 11, 7 p.m., 2010