Excerpt from a Terry Gilliam interview; also see What's It All About? (review in The New Yorker) and Work, Love and Therapy, in So Many Bytes (NYT)
"You've done surveillance dystopias before, though. What's different about today's version?Terry Gilliam on His Epic New Dystopian Film The Zero Theorem | WIRED
Initially, Mancom, where Qohen works, was much more like the Ministry in Brazil. But I wanted to make a point that this body isn't governmental. That's something quite different now—corporations dominate, and the political side is almost secondary. The funny thing is, the film was supposed to be set in the near future—how near I didn't know. But by the time most of my “futuristic ideas” had been filmed, they were already in the past."