Brand Upon the Brain!

Brand Upon the Brain!

A Remembrance in 12 Chapters

DVD - 2008
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This eerie excursion into the Gothic recesses of Maddin's mad, imaginary childhood is a nightmare set in a lighthouse on grim Notch Island, where fictional protagonist Maddin was raised by an ironfisted, puritanical mother.
Publisher: [South Burlington, VT] : Criterion Collection, 2008, c2006.
Edition: Widscreen Special ed.
ISBN: 9781604650556
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (99 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.


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May 12, 2018

I love some of the work Guy Madden has done. His unique method of film making making has created a sort of alter-reality which probably does what the title of this film suggests.
So you can call me an interested follower of the Guy Madden crew.
I started out enjoying this film because it seemed to offer those same elements but unlike my feelings for some of other work I started to feel dragged over the rocks. So in this case I would say there is some fun stuff here but the film is just a little too long and the story starts to grind instead of amuse as the chapters add up. A little too much repetition.
Before that point, it's a lot of fun. This a type of art that really depends a lot on balance and a bit more of that might have been a benefit here.

Jul 02, 2017

Thank goodness for The Criterion Collection! Each DVD they offer has compelling supplements which add to the viewing of the film they present.

Guy Madden is a thoughtful filmmaker, and from listening to him talk about the making of his films, you know how much he puts into it. He not only loves film, but the idea of film, and much more. His feelings for his home province of Manitoba is evident, even though it is not depicted in this particular film. He tells us this film is 97% true.

The wonderful thing is that you have the option of listening to a selection of voices read the voice over. Madden talked about this film as being a performance piece, with the sound effects and the story being performed in the theater while the movie plays on the screen. The option of choosing who to listen to gives you a small sense of the performance.

The extras which include Foosteps demonstrating how they make the sound effects makes me want to make my own sound effects. Madden's mention of Jean Vigo's soundtracks in Zero for Conduct and L'Atalante make me want to see the films again with more attention to the sound.

Madden is a true auteur, someone who loves film and is influenced by the films he sees, but with his own idiosyncratic way of making films.

philpot2526 Apr 29, 2015

Using a silent movie motif to convey timeless emotions and imagination really made this movie make me pay close attention. What a work of art!

Oct 07, 2011

man, this one will put a "brand on your brain" if you watch it. not really my type. black/white, captioned, narrated and kind of like a old chaplin or keystone kops but faster.

Aug 27, 2010

An outstanding experimental near silent film. Full of surrealism, enchantment, and gender bending memories of an middle aged man remember his childhood at an isolated orphanage. It had the same affect on me as The City of Lost children. It was wonderful finding a film so creative and fantastical.


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