First Appeared: Brazil (1985)
Founding Father: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown
Notable Residents: Sam Lowry, Jill Layton, Archibald "Harry" Tuttle
Terry Gilliam possesses one of the most unique eyes in contemporary cinema, and Brazil is his undisputed masterpiece. The unnamed city that serves as the film's setting is a marvel of retro-futurism, fascism by way of the Three Stooges, Nineteen Eighty-Four slipping on a banana peel and tumbling down a strange rabbit hole. It makes tangled bureaucracy and overcrowding painfully literal through the city's architecture. Gilliam is a cartoonist above all else, and Brazil is oftentimes like a cartoon come to life. By taking on that third dimension, the cartoon becomes grotesque and warped. The idiosyncratic look of the film inspired Tim Burton's Batman, the neo-noir look of Dark City, and the French bufoonery of Jeunet's City of Lost Children. Everything comes back to Brazil.