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Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters (2006)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 24 September 2008 (France)
Returned home to his long-estranged mother upon a request from her deathbed, a man raised by his parents in an orphanage has to confront the childhood memories that have long haunted him.


Guy Maddin


Guy Maddin, Louis Negin (narration) | 1 more credit »
3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Gretchen Krich Gretchen Krich ... Mother
Sullivan Brown Sullivan Brown ... Young Guy Maddin
Maya Lawson Maya Lawson ... Sis
Jake Morgan-Scharhon ... Chance Hale / Wendy Hale (as Katherine E. Scharhon)
Todd Moore Todd Moore ... Father
Andrew Loviska Andrew Loviska ... Savage Tom
Kellan Larson Kellan Larson ... Neddie
Erik Steffen Maahs Erik Steffen Maahs ... Older Guy Maddin
Cathleen O'Malley ... Young Mother
Clayton Corzatte Clayton Corzatte ... Old Father
Susan Corzatte Susan Corzatte ... Old Mother
Megan Murphy Megan Murphy ... Murderous Sister
Annette Toutonghi ... Murderous Sister
David Lobo David Lobo ... Oarsman
Eric Lobo Eric Lobo ... Oarsman


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 David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Shot in nine days and edited over three months. See more »


Narrator: What's a suicide attempt without a wedding?
See more »


Edited into Samo je zemlja ispod ovog neba (2009) See more »

User Reviews

Both derivative and inventive
5 August 2007 | by paulmartin-2See all my reviews

With the exception of a few brief seemingly random shots, Brand Upon the Brain! is shot (or made to appear in post-production to be shot) in grainy black and white. The look is reminiscent of David Lynch's Eraserhead, a classic that may have been an influence, though the style is quite different. Maddin's film uses much more frenetic editing techniques, particularly frequent cutting to create an abrasive subliminal effect from which the title appears to be derived.

I use the term 'abrasive' and for some people that might be a negative, but I found it effective. The film uses captions and along with a neo-silent-era visual design, it has the effect of a coherent experimental film with a bizarre horror narrative. A man, Guy, returns to the island orphanage of his parents after a thirty year absence, on the request of his dying mother. It turns out the parents were subjecting the orphans to some peculiar activities from which Guy escaped.

I found the design, high-contrast lighting and editing techniques effective in conveying a bizarre nightmare-type of story, a horror film that is not entirely original in narrative nor design, yet original in its presentation. I liked the voice-over narration by Isabelle Rosellini.

There are some very attractive characterisations and depictions of inoffensive perversity. Definitely worth a look.

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

24 September 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Brand Upon the Brain! See more »

Filming Locations:

Seattle, Washington, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,412, 13 May 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

The Film Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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