Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse ... See full summary »
In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period... See full summary »
In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest... See full summary »
A sensitive exploration of the tragic irony of the psychiatrist suffering with mental illness. Dr. Jenny Isaksson is a psychiatrist married to another psychiatrist; both are successful in ... See full summary »
Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse which served as the orphanage, memories of strange events there overpower him. An undercover investigation by child author/detective Wendy & a revolt by the repressed children, blew open a cover-up by Guy's parents. Wendy disguised herself as her brother Chance and discovered that Maddin's inventor father performed outré scientific experiments on the orphans. Written by
Make no mistake about it, Canada's Guy Maddin is an enigma. We're talking about somebody who's main inspiration seems to be old Soviet newsreels (the Kino Pravda series,to be exact,by Dziga Vertov,the father of the newsreel). Watching 'Brand Upon The Brain' was very much like watching an old Kino Pravda (Cinema Truth,by the way,for those who don't speak Russian)newsreel while running a temperature about 110 degrees,while on a mixture of psychedelic mushrooms washed down with codeine based cough syrup (and I wouldn't want it any other way!). The plot (but who needs a plot in a film like this?) concerns a middle aged man who is by some strange twist of fate, named Guy Maddin, returns to the island he grew up as a young boy, and hasn't been back in over 30 years,to try & clean up the old lighthouse/orphanage he grew up in. All I can say is....man!....if I had as screwed up a childhood as Maddin had, I guess I would turn out making films as bizarre as Maddin's are (not that I'm saying that's bad,mind you---check out his short film 'Heart Of The World',which won an award some years back as the best experimental short at some film festival who's name I forget). Although the film features a cast of unknowns (on these shores at any rate),it benefits from a narrative by Isabella Rossilini (daughter of Ingrid Bergman & Roberto Rossilini),who is unfortunately never seen on screen. Honestly, you can do a lot worse than not seeing 'Brand Upon The Brain', but why would you want to?
12 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?