Our Rating: ★★★☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian characters, Gender Bender
Short Take: A mad scientist, an island orphanage, and a teenage lesbian affair
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2006
Duration: 95 minutes
Language: English/USA, Canada
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Guy Maddin
Writer: Guy Maddin, George Toles
Starring: Maya Lawson, Katherine E. Scharhon, Erik Steffen Maahs, Isabella Rossellini, Sullivan Brown, Gretchen Krich

Brand Upon the Brain! Trailer

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Brand Upon the Brain!Brand Upon the Brain! has to be one of the most bizarre films I have ever seen. It is silent, black and white, and narrated by actress Isabella Rossellini. Presented in twelve chapters, it follows the story of Guy (Erik Steffen Maahs), who returns home to paint the lighthouse on the island where his suffocating mother still lives. He recalls his childhood, filled with horrors of a mad scientist father who experiments on children from the orphanage his mother runs.

Their dastardly deeds are discovered by Wendy (Katherine E. Scharhon), a teenage private detective who arrives on the island to investigate the children with holes in their heads. She begins to fall in love with Sis (Maya Lawson), Guy’s sister, so she disguises herself as her brother Chance. “He” refuses to have sex with Sis, but when the real Wendy is revealed, the two sneak away together as much as possible. Guy also has a “boy crush” on Chance.

The look and feel is that of the old silent films, mixed with an odd experimental aesthetic. If you are a fan of art films, this one may be intriguing … or it may be just too weird for you! (AB)