guy maddin: hole in the head


Guy Maddin’s Brand Upon the Brain!, from a screenplay by Mr. Maddin and George Toler, succeeds at one and the same time in functioning as both a celebration and a deconstruction of the conscious and unconscious glories of silent movies through the barely 30 years of their existence at the beginning of the 20th century. Let us say simply and definitely that I have never seen anything like it.

Brand Upon the Brain! is one of Mr. Maddin’s two dozen cinematic exercises in hyper-eccentric self-expression and self-revelation dating back to a 26-minute short feature, significantly entitled The Dead Father, in 1986. I say “significantly” because there is in Brand Upon the Brain! the father of a son named Guy Maddin, and this bizarre paterfamilias passes between life and death and back without ever turning around from his lifelong scientific endeavors. But the strangeness of this character is only a small part of the overall obsessive strangeness of Brand Upon the Brain!, which might be more precisely (if less poetically) entitled Hole in the Head!

more from the NY Observer here.