IMDb > Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters (2006)
Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters
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Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters (2006) More at IMDbPro »

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View company contact information for Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 September 2008 (France) See more »
Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Obscure! Perverse! Demented! Bizarre!! See more (28 total) »


  (in credits order)
Gretchen Krich ... Mother
Sullivan Brown ... Young Guy Maddin
Maya Lawson ... Sis

Katherine E. Scharhon ... Chance Hale / Wendy Hale
Todd Moore ... Father
Andrew Loviska ... Savage Tom
Kellan Larson ... Neddie
Erik Steffen Maahs ... Older Guy Maddin

Cathleen O'Malley ... Young Mother
Clayton Corzatte ... Old Father
Susan Corzatte ... Old Mother
Megan Murphy ... Murderous Sister
Annette Toutonghi ... Murderous Sister
David Lobo ... Oarsman
Eric Lobo ... Oarsman
Sarah Harlett ... Adopting Couple
Dan Tierney ... Adopting Couple
David Armo ... Orphan
Erica Badgely ... Orphan
Riley Calcagno ... Orphan
Jesa Chiro ... Orphan
Munya Chiro ... Orphan
Bailey Gibart ... Orphan
Frank Hughes ... Orphan
AnnieRose Kafer ... Orphan
Emma Kelley ... Orphan
Eleanor Kopf ... Orphan
Sam Kopf ... Orphan
Charlie Lachow ... Orphan
Sam Lachow ... Orphan
Maia Lee ... Orphan
Emma Mercer ... Orphan
Lucia Moser ... Orphan
Madeleine Moser ... Orphan
Eli Pruzan ... Orphan
Connor Russell ... Orphan
Electra Fire Scott ... Orphan
Vincent Scott ... Orphan
Iris Seiwerath ... Orphan
Ruby Seiwerath ... Orphan
Olivia Spokoiny ... Orphan
Maya Sugarman ... Orphan
Augustine Vanden Brulle ... Orphan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Isabella Rossellini ... Narrator (voice)
Clara Grace Svenson ... Baby Mother
Anna Wichman ... Orphan

Directed by
Guy Maddin 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Guy Maddin 
Louis Negin  narration
George Toles 

Produced by
A.J. Epstein .... executive producer
Joy Fairfield .... co-producer
Jaime Hook .... associate producer
Amy Jacobson .... producer
Gregg Lachow .... producer
Jody Shapiro .... executive producer
Philip Wohlstetter .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jason Staczek 
Cinematography by
Benjamin Kasulke 
Film Editing by
John Gurdebeke 
Casting by
Joy Fairfield 
Production Design by
Tania Kupczak 
Art Direction by
Noel Paul (co-art director)
Apryl Richards (co-art director)
Set Decoration by
Jennifer Labbienti 
Costume Design by
Laura Catigniani 
Nina Moser 
K.D. Schill 
Makeup Department
Denise Giago .... key hair stylist
Denise Giago .... key makeup artist
Daniel Wolcott .... makeup artist
Daniel Wolcott .... special makeup effects artist
Production Management
Joy Fairfield .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Benjamin Kasulke .... second unit director
Tyson Theroux .... second assistant director
Anna Waggoner .... assistant director
Art Department
Rena Bussinger .... props manager
John DeShazo .... set/prop builder
Wing Gee .... tech designer
Tom Phillips .... props
Sean Porter .... tech designer
Tivon Rice .... props
Alan Strathmann .... props
Curtis Taylor .... set designer
Sound Department
John Bosch .... sound recordist
Caoimhe Doyle .... live foley artist
Stefan Fraticelli .... live foley artist
Goro Koyama .... live foley artist
Andy Malcolm .... live foley artist
Anna Malkin .... foley recording assistant
Ron Malligers .... foley mixer
Murray Trider .... sound recordist
Don White .... foley recording mixer
Don White .... live foley mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Sullivan Brown .... camera operator
Dave Hanagan .... gaffer (as David Hanagan)
Benjamin Kasulke .... camera operator
Jennifer Maas .... grip
Guy Maddin .... camera operator
Danielle Morgan .... assistant camera
Danielle Morgan .... camera operator
Kevin Philbin .... grip
Courtland Premo .... grip
Adam L. Weintraub .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Marc Brown .... film output: digital intermediate
Cheryll Hidalgo .... additional editor
Tim Maffia .... digital color grading
Michelle M. Witten .... assistant editor (as Michelle Witten)
Music Department
Timothy Huling .... orchestrator
Bob Ingalls .... orchestrator
Cary LoGrande .... orchestral part preparation (uncredited)
Other crew
Cynthia Amsden .... publicist
Mike Casassa .... production coordinator
S.J. Chiro .... craft service
Andy Spletzer .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Brand Upon the Brain!" - International (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
95 min
Canada:14A (Alberta/British Columbia/Manitoba/Ontario) | France:U (with warning) | Singapore:R21 | USA:Not Rated
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Mother:Will you not shed a tear on my tomb?See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into 97 Percent True (2008) (V)See more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "Brand Upon the Brain!" based on a book?
Who else has performed a live narration for this film?
See more »
15 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Obscure! Perverse! Demented! Bizarre!!, 21 October 2007
Author: Igenlode Wordsmith from England

This is an undeniably powerful film, for all its unorthodoxy; but the only word I could really find to describe it, again and again, was "bizarre". Bizarre to such a degree that, in the demented world shown here, even the most impossible and incredible occurrences can be accepted and taken for granted as part of the plot -- after the first five minutes or so, with the atmosphere of mad-scientist exploitation schlock firmly established, the audience were apparently taking the film on its own terms, over-the-top intertitles, tendentious voice-over, feverish cutting and all. The laughs that followed were not for the fraught nature of the story-telling, but in response to the deliberately scripted jokes inserted in the scenario: the hamster simulating a scientist, the butter stuck on the wall, the corpse in a harp.

The picture is shot, intentionally, at extremely low quality, more akin to closed-circuit TV than Super-8 home movies, let alone the silver/midnight shimmer of the silent screen. (This indistinct resolution is perhaps just as well, since the imagery includes some material rather more explicit than I'm comfortable with.) The acting, on the other hand, is fully up to the standard of the silent era; a contemptuous turn of the head, a self-pitying look, the dawning of a sudden idea, all explicit without a word... and the director clearly understands how to tell a story without resorting to pantomime or wordy scripts. The intertitles are consciously overwrought and populated by an insane density of exclamation marks, but never unnecessary or over-long.

In fact, I felt that the picture would very probably have been better if shot entirely as a silent with synchronised effects; especially at the beginning, the voice-over becomes actively intrusive, breaking into the flow and repeating or pre-empting what is being equally and much more elegantly expressed by the use of imagery, background sound and a few economically-written title cards. The impression given is that the director was afraid of losing his audience if he started off with a purely silent-style presentation, and added a superfluous narrating track on top -- unfortunately, the voice-over is not quite redundant and cannot be omitted, since it conveys certain important pieces of information that are not otherwise apparent. The combination is awkward.

This jarring effect, however, may of course be intentional. Another recurrent 'tic' is the way that many intertitle screens are displayed twice, in a sort of visual stammer: once in an almost subliminal flash and then a second time, long enough for slow readers to take them in. I assume this is some kind of reference to the frequently reiterated theme that all things happen twice, or can be made to repeat themselves... or else is simply deployed for its disorienting effect! The visual style of the film, with its distressed footage, weird camera angles, and spasmodic cuts back to significant motifs, reminded me of experimental film I'd seen from the 1960s. The difference is that this picture engages the audience, creates meaningful characters and actually tells a coherent story with emotional content, wild and lurid or not. For all its parody and sheer weirdness it manages to succeed on a cinematic level rather than as an abstract avant-garde statement. And it manages to get us to swallow some quite incredible scenarios with a straight face. The director clearly has a gift for world-building and a feel for visual narrative: this isn't really my type of film, but if it were not a contradiction in terms I'd love to see him take on a subject in a more 'straight' silent style, with less visual damage (though I suspect this may be an aid to disguising an ultra-low budget), less heavy-breathing potential, and above all less frenetic pop-video cutting. As another reviewer has commented, Maddin can compose beautiful shots... it's just that we never get to see any of them for longer than a few seconds.

But I assume that such an ambition is unrealistic, as I imagine that it is his trademark presentation that gets the audience to swallow silent film at all these days.

"Brand Upon the Brain!" is a considerable achievement, and has already made sufficient stir in the United States for me to have picked it out by title from a strand of London Film Festival programming I wouldn't normally dream of attending (and, looking round at familiar faces in the auditorium, I may not have been the only one!) It isn't entirely to my taste, which is why I've knocked a point off the rating I would otherwise have given it, but as an experience it was otherwise definitely worth the entrance price.

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