Blog: Expect some witty insight at Doris Duke’s ‘Brazil’ screening

Jamie Winpenny

The director’s cut of Terry Gilliam’s seminal, darkly comic future-dystopian film Brazil will be screened Saturday at the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ Doris Duke Theater. The Hawaii Independent movie critic Dean Carrico will be giving the keynote address on Saturday for the screening. And he’s terrified.

Possessed of a quick wit and encyclopedic knowledge of film history, and of Brazil in particular, Carrico is the perfect choice for the address. But he loathes public speaking. “I entered an Irish toast contest at O’Toole’s,” he says. “I made a quick joke, and by the time it was over 10 seconds later, I was shaking.”

“We had asked Dean to open several other films previously,” says Gina Caruso, Film Curator at Doris Duke Theater. “But he always said that wasn’t really his thing.” But that changed when Carrico learned of the Brazil screening. “We’re just so glad to have him.”

Caruso says she chose to screen the film after noticing that younger audiences were enthusiastic about seeing interesting old films on the big screen at the current the Masters of Horror series. “And we didn’t want to compete with or replicate any of HIFF’s programming,” says Caruso. “I had noticed that they didn’t really have any science fiction.” Brazil got the call.

And so did Carrico. He speaks breezily about the film’s history, of how studio executives at the time “took it away from Gilliam and made it a love story.” Brazil is among Carrico’s Top Five films of all time. He recalls fondly the first time he saw the film, on a date with a girl. And her family. There’s something Gilliam-esque about that. He didn’t get the movie back then, and watched it a few times before its many nuances took hold.

“I’m aware that some people aren’t going to like or get the movie,” Carrico says. “It’s nonlinear by nature, and it doesn’t hold your hand. I’m just going to try to point out some of the interesting aspects of it.”

Fittingly, it was a movie, All the President’s Men, that inspired Carrico to become a journalist. He studied investigative journalism at San Jose State University. His first movie review, of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, won a national award from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges. “I know that book backward and forward,” he says.

Familiarity with the source material is one of the reasons he agreed to make the keynote address for Brazil. That, and a genuine love for the film. He sees a parallel between himself and the movie’s main character. “Sam Lowry is comfortable being in the background, and so am I,” says Carrico. “It’s his love for Jill that draws him out. And it’s my love for this film that will get me up to that podium.”

Dean Carrico will introduce the film at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Brazil Director’s Cut
Saturday, October 15 at 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m
Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Doris Duke Theater, Honolulu Academy of Arts
900 South Beretania St.