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Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam has made three films for Universal, a studio not known for its arty tastes, including the principal reason for this retrospective, Brazil (pictured). That pictorially stunning vision of somebody’s future—released in 1985 with one eye on 1984—met Universal resistance, and Gilliam was forced to trim 17 minutes from it. This series provides the first Washington screenings (Feb. 12-21) of the original cut, which was released in Europe but not in the U.S. Since the film is notable more for visuals than narrative, the full version doesn’t exactly clear up any mysteries about this parable, set in a bureaucratic retro-future in which the two principal government agencies are the Ministry of Information (counterintelligence and anti-terrorism) and Central Services (plumbing, mostly). Still, the complete cut of Gilliam’s synthesis of Weekend, Blade Runner, and Modern Times (among others) does include some striking images, and the restored final shot puts a different spin on the downbeat ending. The series also provides an opportunity to re-evaluate Gilliam’s latest film, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Feb. 27 & 28). At the American Film Institute theater, Kennedy Center. $6.50. (202) 785-4600. (Mark Jenkins)