Guy Maddin’s orgiastic, hilarious creations electrify and resurrect silent film, Frankenstein-style, into something all his own, thrusting libido and guilt to the surface in frenzies of revived taboo. Presented for a limited run with live accompaniment — music, narrator, and foley artists — Brand Upon the Brain! is a joyous movie event. Like a highlight reel of Maddin’s favorite supercharged moments from melodrama and Expressionism, Brand features an orphanage of urchins, cross-dressed trysts, a misery-making mother, and a mad-scientist father — all set in a lighthouse on a far-away island... There, monitored by smothering Mother, a boy named Guy watches his sister (“Sis”) fall for teen detective Chance Hale, who is investigating suspicious marks on the orphans’ heads. Desire! Madness! Gramophone-telephones! Maddin’s pulse-quickening editing, close-ups, and black-and-white photography make Brand an exhilarating, physical experience, affectionately pitched between homage and over-the-top.
Opens May 9 at Village East, May 16 at Angelika