FLIX PIX (2): “You See 3815 Films, You Think You’ve Seen It All” (My review of Guy Maddin’s BRAND UPON THE BRAIN)

Brand> Stupidly, I labored under the illusion, that once you see 3815 films, you’ve pretty much seen it all. How delightful to be so wrong!

*

. Poor, jaded me.

. Such an experienced film connaisseur that I was endanger of engendering snobbery. I went to film school you see… like a million years ago, in the Jimmy Carter era.  I was the projectionist at the Bijou there, where I first experienced so many eye-opening mind-blowing cinematic enemas like Jordowoski’s THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, and Alan Renaisis’ LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, that (along with Ingmar Bergman’s CRIES AND WHISPERS) re-defined for me, what a film could be.

. I haven’t been lucky enough to see anything that knocked my socks of intellectually in cinema since I discovered the singular work of Mike Leigh about a decade ago.  When I rented BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!, I was laboring under the wildly misdirected notion that I was about to see a documentary about marketing in the mass media.  Man, could I have been more off base?  I found the film in the Sunday Chronicle’s A CRITICAL CONSENSUS database, rated a hefty 8.2, so I had been seeking it out for some time.  Within three minutes of starting the film, I suspected I was watching one of the greatest films ever made.  By the last frame, I was sure of it, though I would not fault anyone from disagreeing with me vehemently on this point.  I have to award it an enthusiastic 4.5 stars- the highest score I can bestow upon a film, as I always wait until a decade goes by before reevaluating a film to see if it merits the rarified designation of 5 stars: an absolute classic.  As a cool added bonus, the viewer is offerred is a choice of optional narration soundtracks by cool artists like Isabella Rossillini, Eli Wallach and Laurie Anderson.  (Some of these tracks were laid down during live performances with an orchestra, performing while the film is projected behind them.)  In a way, it was hard to enjoy the first viewing, because I couldn’t help but begin to spontaneously compose this review in my head as I watched it, and much of the editing was so frenetic I had to close my eyes a couple times and focus on the interesting soundtrack.  Writing this review was a compulsion- motivated by a desire to share this great new find with like-minded cinephiles.  After reviewing my notes, I decided that it would be very much in the spirit of the film to leave the string of adjectives in tact, and just publish the list verbatim.

> So- what follows is my review of Guy Maddin’s otherwise indescribable 2006 film: BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!

0

Winnipeg Canada

grainy

shaky

high-contrast

scratchy

gothic melodrama

black and white…

color!

London

dramatic music

piano and strings

intriguing

kinetic

freewheeling

mysterious

obtuse

disjointed

curious

eerie

disorienting

lyrical

pensive

startling

impressionistic

stylized

hypnotic

wistful

guy_maddin2_448

fragmented

feverish

magical

threatening

funny

unique

bizzare

shocking

amazing

psychedelic

hallucinatory

trance-inducing

nightmarish

sensual

dada

beautiful

intense

difficult

guy maddin hauntings 1_long_imagevisionary

frustrating

brilliant

maddening

horrific

silly

transcendent

ludicrous

unforgettable

exhausting!

guy-maddin-TalesFromGimliH-

The story?

silent-movie chapters:

a mother’s request

painting

memory

a lonely lighthouse

a wild, remote island

a crazy matron

a mad-scientist

a bleak orphanage

stark drama

isolation

secretscowardsbendtheknee

yearning

smoke

fog haze

yearning

apprehension

dysfunction

shame

the passage of time

running

running

running

shadows of the past

anguish

trauma

guilt

secrets…guy madin pic

surveillance

emotional cruelty

resentment

tyranny

deception

perversity

savagery

SECRETS and smoke

sleepwalking

phantoms

unnatural love

insanity

violence

exile

unremitting horrorVampire Side bar z

bliss!

“Remorse, Fear, Passion and Anxiety”

knives

the Kissing Gloves

odd scars and coincidental stains

strange technology

sinister plots

keyhole

lesbian erotica

rage makes age

brain nectar

death and resurrection

the fires of Hell

kid detectives to the rescue!

banishment and closure

a mother’s request

painting painting painting

at least three coats…

maddin film

Catharsis?

. See this movie! Decide for yourself if it’s great art or pretentious artsy-fartsy crap.

> Let me know where you stand…

.

© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About KPKeelan

Fool, Philosopher, Lover & Dreamer, Benign TROUBLEMAKER, King and Jester of KPKworld, an online portal to visual and linguistic mystery, befuddlement and delight.
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3 Responses to FLIX PIX (2): “You See 3815 Films, You Think You’ve Seen It All” (My review of Guy Maddin’s BRAND UPON THE BRAIN)

  1. Stacy Fisher says:

    I think our love of film helps us both get through this struggle called life.

    Like

  2. Pingback: QUIET IN THE BACK! #26: KPK on the Cinema- March 2012 | KPKworld

  3. Pingback: QUIET IN THE BACK! #52: “BEST FILMS I Saw in 2012! (part 1)” | KPKworld

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