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Cinematic Spectacle!

Live Guest Narrators in New York to Include

Isabella Rossellini, Lou Reed, Crispin Glover,

Laurie Anderson, Justin Bond, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Tunde Adebimpe (TV ON THE RADIO), Joie Lee, John Ashbery,

Peter Scarlet (Tribeca Film Festival)


Crispin Glover to perform all shows in Chicago Engagement!


BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! opens May 9 in New York! Live shows May 9 - 15.

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! opens May 18 in Chicago! Live shows May 18 - 20.

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! opens June 8 in Los Angeles! Live shows June 8 - 10.


Opens across the country in June/July. For markets see

"Guy Maddin's latest astonishment-- has ransacked film history and his own delirious imagination to create a work like none other: a silently shot film about a man who, on revisiting his childhood home, hurtles unto a past where orphan children, coy lesbian lovers, and a mad scientist converge." -- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times


Click the interviews link below on the left side to find out about interview/photo opportunities with talent from the film.

Opens across the country in June/July. For markets see

For Immediate Release - May 1, 2007


Foley Team
Cast and Crew
Narrator - Chicago
Los Angeles
New York
Narrator Bios - New York
New York Live Show Schedule
Orchestra Profile - New York
Critical Acclaim
Press Screenings & Materials
Vitagraph Films
Press Contacts
Orchestra - Chicago
Quick Links

Sis and Guy in Brand upon The Brain!

Sullivan Brown and Maya Lawson are a brother and sister living out an accursed childhood in Guy Maddin's latest film BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!


New York/Chicago/Hollywood -- Director Guy Maddin's (THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, TWILIGHT OF THE ICE NYMPHS) latest Cinema Spectacular BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! ---- In an unprecedented act of faith in the enduring power of the theatrical experience, BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! will be presented as an expansive live event in select cities, featuring an 11-piece LIVE orchestra, a 5-person LIVE Foley (sound effects performed onstage) team, and a LIVE celebrity narrator, and Castrato

supplementing the filmic image, to comprise a one-of-a-kind cinematic spectacle. Filmmaker Guy Maddin will appear in person to present the film during these exclusive live engagements in select historic movie palaces in Chicago (The Music Box), New York (The Village East) and Los Angeles (The Egyptian Theatre). Following presentations of this unique stage production, the feature film BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! will continue in those cities as a regular film run (with a pre-recorded soundtrack including narration by Isabella Rossellini) as well as others nationwide, beginning in May. BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! will also be presented live for one night, on May 7th as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. The film is distributed in the US by The Film Company and Vitagraph Films.

Featuring an original score by Jason Staczek, BRAND! has been earning unqualified raves during 9 months on the festival circuit, including Festival-best mentions at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, 2006 New York Film Festival, and the 2007 Berlinale.

Surreal, satiric and surprisingly touching, Maddin's film looks at the secret lives of families in a work that is equal parts childhood reminiscence, Expressionist horror movie, teen detective serial and Grand Guignol reverie. Guy Maddin's latest delirious creation is a silent film like none you have ever seen before.

Whatever are young "Guy Maddin's" parents really up to in their lighthouse home/orphanage on a chilly remote island? Overbearing Mother (Gretchen Krich) tracks her son's (Sullivan Brown) every move, bellowing for him to come home over the "Aerophone" just as something interesting is about to happen! And poor Sis (Maya Lawson), his older sister (who is rapidly blossoming into a young woman) -- Mother will never let her have any fun! The intrigue continues as deranged Mother, hellbent on restoring her youth and sinister Scientist-Father (Todd Jefferson Moore) who is sequestered night and day in his basement laboratory, engage in diabolical, secret experimentation. When new parents of recently adopted children from the orphanage notice strange wounds on the youngsters' necks, a pair of teen sleuths, Wendy (Katherine E. Scharhon) and her brother Chance, known as "The Lightbulb Kids," appear on the island to investigate -- and in the process, inspire Guy's first crush and Sis' first love affair. The lurid family secrets that unfold are positively shocking!

The film was written and directed by Guy Maddin. George Toles is the co-writer. The original score is by Jason Staczek. Benjamin Kasulke is the Cinematographer. The film is Executive Produced by Jody Shapiro, Philip Wohlstetter and A.J. Epstein. The Associate Producer is Brian Grant. Amy E. Jacobson and Gregg Lachow are the Producers.

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!, Maddin's first production filmed outside of his native Winnipeg, was produced by The Film Company, a unique, Seattle-based independent film studio founded in 2004 by filmmaker Gregg Lachow (who directed/produced his own modern day "silent" film with live components, SILENCE! in 2001). Long-time Lachow collaborator Jamie Hook is Co-President with Lachow. The Film Company greenlights artists, not projects, and provides all the support and collaboration necessary to create a feature film.

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! world premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival in the historic Elgin Theatre. It has since been performed with live accompaniment at the 2006 New York Film Festival, the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival the 2007 Mexico City Film Festival, and the 2007 Buenos Aires Film Festival. It is scheduled to be part of the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival at the Castro Theatre in May.

Canada/USA, 2006, 96 min., B & W, Not rated


About the Foley Artists


Led by Andy Malcom, the Toronto-based Footsteps Studios created Foley sound effects for films such as THE BOOK OF CALEB (coming in 2007), SILENT HILL, THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU and many others. They designed and custom built Foley equipment especially for the production of BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!


Chicago - Music Box Theatre

3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, 60613 | 773.871.6604

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN opens at the Music Box, May 18 - 20 for a limited engagement of the live Cinema Spectacular, followed by a regular print run with pre-recorded soundtrack, from May 21 - 24. A narrator will be announced when confirmed.

Daily Showtimes:

Friday, May 18 at 7:30 PM

Saturday, May 19 at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM

Sunday, May 20 at 2:30 PM


Advance Tickets: or 866.468.3401

Prices will be announced when confirmed.


Music Box Theatre History

The Music Box Theatre opened on August 22, 1929, at a time when the movie palaces in downtown Chicago had seating capacities of around 3000 people. The Music Box, which sat 800, was considered an elaborate little brother to those theatres. Theatre Architecture Magazine noted in 1929 that the theatre "represents the smaller, though charming and well equipped, sound picture theatre which is rapidly taking the place of the 'deluxe' palace".

The theatre was built for a cost of $110,000. The entire building, which also included nine storefronts and 32 apartments cost $260,000. The building was designed by Louis A. Simon a local architect who was better known for his depression era WPA Post Offices and homes for the nouveau riche. The building was erected by The Southport Avenue Businessmen's Association and operated by Lasker and Sons, who operated several smaller neighborhood houses in Chicago.

The design of the Music Box was indicative of the growth of the motion picture. The grand movie palaces that preceded it were multiple use facilities with stage and film presentation capabilities. The Music Box had no stage and, therefore, could only be a film presentation house. When the theatre was built, sound films were a new technology, and the plans included both an orchestra pit and organ chambers in case sound films failed and silent film accompaniment was needed.

As Chicago Tribune Architectural Critic, Paul Gapp wrote (Arts and Books July 31, 1983) "the architectural style is an eclectic melange of Italian, Spanish and Pardon-My-Fantasy put together with passion." The actual style is called "atmospheric." The dark blue, cove lit ceiling with "twinkling stars" and moving cloud formations suggests a night sky. The plaster ornamentation of the side walls, round towers, faux-marble loggia and ogee-arched organ chambers are, by Hollywood standards, reminiscent of the walls surrounding an Italian courtyard. Overall the effect is to make the patron feel that they are watching a film in an open air Palazzo.



Narrator - Chicago

Crispin Glover will perform all live shows.

Veteran actor Crispin Glover (RIVER'S EDGE, WILLARD, BACK TO THE FUTURE, EPIC MOVIE) is known for creating quirky characters onscreen. In addition to his work as an actor he has made two feature films, WHAT IS IT? and It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. (co-directed with David Brothers) both of which premiered at Sundance. Using a unique self-distribution model, he travels with the film and presents it with his "Big Slide Show" (a live performance of the 8 books he has written) as a prologue.

Orchestra - Chicago



LOS ANGELES - Egyptian Theatre

American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre

6712 Hollywood Boulevard (just east of Highland Avenue) Los Angeles, CA 90028

323.466.FILM (3456)

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN opens at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre, June 8 - 10 for a limited engagement of the live Cinema Spectacular. A celebrity narrator will be announced when confirmed. June 11 - 14 the film version with pre-recorded soundtrack will screen exclusively at the Egyptian Theatre prior to expansion.

Daily Showtimes: 

Friday, June 8 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 9 - 7 PM & 9:30 PM
Sunday, June 10 - 7:30 PM

Tickets: Advance tickets will be available on Tickets can also be purchased at the Box Office.


Advance: $25 General, $22 Students & Seniors; $20 Cinematheque Members.

At the Door: $30 General Admission. Other prices remain the same.


History of the Egyptian Theatre

The landmark 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre, founded by theatre impresario Sid Grauman was the home of the first Hollywood based movie premiere when it opened its doors with ROBIN HOOD starring Douglas Fairbanks on October 18th 1922. It immediately became the premiere palace for many of the biggest silent films of its day including many starring Grauman's friend Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. The Egyptian, with its Hollywood Boulevard location, open-air 150-foot courtyard and 2000+ seat theatre and grand columned entrance, was a natural for premieres. While the theatre was never a live venue, Grauman directed elaborate "prologues" featuring live actors, dancing and singing, that were staged prior to the film screenings and shared a theme with the movie he was running. Myrna Loy is said to have been a dancer on stage at the Egyptian.

In the 1950's the theatre became MGM's road show venue for many of their major releases such as BEN-HUR. By the late 1980's the theatre was in great disrepair and United Artists put it up for sale since single screen theatres were struggling against the emergence of the multi-plex.

The Egyptian theatre was sold for $1 to the non-profit American Cinematheque, by the City of Los Angeles, with the stipulation that the theatre undergo a complete historic restoration/renovation and rehabilitation. Following a $15 million overhaul, the Cinematheque re-opened the Egyptian on December 4, 1998 with a staging of Cecil B. De Mille's 1923 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, with live orchestral accompaniment, on the exact 75th anniversary of its original premiere at the Egyptian. The Cinematheque continues to own and operate the Egyptian Theatre, providing Los Angeles audiences with diverse year-round specialty film programming in a state-of-the-art 616-seat venue boasting a 57 foot screen and pristine sound and projection housed in an historic shell.

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New York - Village East Cinema 

181 2nd Avenue, New York, New York 10003 (at 12th Street)

212.529.6998 | Theatre Express Code: 922

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! opens at Village East Cinema on Wednesday, May 9 and plays through Tuesday, May 15. The film will be presented as a live Cinema Spectacular with various narrators throughout the engagement, including Isabella Rossellini and Suzanne Vega. The film will continue to run in New York City as a film without the live component following the special engagement.

Daily Showtimes: 7:00 PM & 9:30 PM

Advance Tickets:

Available either online at and or at Box Office: $30.00

Tickets at the Box Office (the day of the event): $40.00

History of the Village East

City Cinema's beautifully restored Village East Cinemas was once the home of Yiddish theater. Legend also has it that Walter Mathau began his film career here, as a young boy working at the concession counter. It was built in 1925-1926 by developer Louis N. Jaffe for the actor Maurice Schwartz as a legitimate Yiddish-language theater.

Its past is still evident in the Moorish designs that adorn both the inside and outside of the theater. Yiddish writing outside the lobby and a large star of David in the dome of the main auditorium further infuse atmosphere into the historic building.

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Narrators - New York

Tunde Adebimpe is an actor, director and musician best known as the lead singer of the Brooklyn-based band TV on the Radio.

Called "America's multi-mediatrix" by Wired magazine and a "modern renaissance artist and agent provocateur" by Philadelphia Daily News, Laurie Anderson is a performance artist

as well as musician, poet, writer, and visual artist, and altogether one of the most influential American artists of the last few decades.

Perhaps America's greatest living poet, John Ashberry has won all three major American poetry prizes (the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award), as well as a MacArthur (genius grant). He was Poet Laureate of NY State from 2001 - 2003.

Justin Bond is a celebrated queer iconic performer out of New York City. He is most well known as one of his drag incarnations, Kiki, an aging, bitter chanteuse known for her raucous and edgy medleys of unusual cover songs. She performs with her piano-playing sidekick, Herb, as Kiki and Herb. Justin also performs as himself, with his backup band, the Freudian Slippers. Bond also appears, playing himself, in the film SHORTBUS.

Veteran actor Crispin Glover (RIVER'S EDGE, WILLARD, BACK TO THE FUTURE, EPIC MOVIE) is known for creating quirky characters onscreen. In addition to his work as an actor he has made two feature films, WHAT IS IT? and It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. (co-directed with David Brothers) both of which premiered at Sundance. Using a unique self-distribution model, he travels with the film and presents it with his "Big Slide Show" (a live performance of the 8 books he has written) as a prologue.

Edward Hibbert is perhaps best known for his recurring role on "Frasier" as Gil Chesterton, KACL's pompous, effete restaurant critic. He is currently appearing on Broadway in the musical "Curtains." Trained at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actor's Studio.

Anne Jackson has been a stage actress since 1944 and a film performer since 1950. Her theatre credits include Summer and Smoke, Arms and the Man, Luv, The Waltz of the Toreadors, and Lost in Yonkers. She was nominated for the 1956 Tony Award for her work in Paddy Chayefsky's Middle of the Night. Jackson's screen credits include The Tiger Makes Out, The Secret Life of an American Wife, How to Save a Marriage (And Ruin Your Life), Lovers and Other Strangers, Dirty Dingus Magee, and The Shining.


Joie Lee is a distinctive presence both on screen (in such quintessential NY films as Do the Right Thing and Coffee and Cigarettes and off-her screenplay for Spike Lee's Crooklyn helped make that one of the great films about childhood.

Singer/Songwriter Lou Reed's work with the seminal rock band Velvet Underground, and his subsequent solo efforts, make up one of the great songbooks in the history of popular music. Peter Scarlet is a bon vivant who spent many years as the director of the San Francisco International Film Festival. He was with the Cinematheque in Paris before returning to the states to take the reins of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

Isabella Rossellini is an actress and filmmaker whose past collaborations with Guy Maddin include The Saddest Music in the World and "My Dad is 100 Years Old."

Eli Wallach is one of our finest actors. He made his debut on Broadway in 1945, and in 1951 he won a Tony for his work in Tennessee Willams' "The Rose Tatoo." His many memorable Hollywood films include Baby Doll, The Magnificent Seven, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, and scores more.


New York Live Shows



May 9:

7 PM Crispin Glover

9:30 PM Crispin Glover



May 10:

7 PM Actress Anne Jackson

9:30 PM Actor Eli Wallach


May 11:

7 PM Actress/Writer Joie Lee

9:30 PM Crispin Glover



May 12:

7 PM Performance/Visial Artist Laurie Anderson

9:30 PM Lou Reed


May 13:

3 PM Justin Bond ("Kiki and Herb")

7 PM Poet Laureate John Ashbery

9:30 PM Musician Tunde Adebimpe (Lead Singer, TV on the Radio)


May 14:

7 PM Edward Hibbert (currently performing in "Curtains" on Broadway)

9:30 PM Actor Peter Scarlet (Executive Director, Tribeca Film Festival)


May 15:

7 PM & 9:30 PM: Actress Isabella Rossellini



Orchestra Profile - New York


The Ensemble Sospeso is an ensemble of soloists that performcontemporary music at the highest standard of an unusually diverserepertoire. Formed in 1995 by composers Kirk Noreen and Joshua Cody,Sospeso has been based in New York since 1999 and has given dozens ofperformances nationwide.  A Sospeso performance might consist of twoplayers or a chamber orchestra; of classical or electronic sounds, or both; of a work for six grand pianos or seven cellos; of a concertofor Theremin or Japanese koto.


Critical Acclaim

"Guy Maddin's latest astonishment-- has ransacked film history and his own delirious imagination to create a work like none other: a silently shot film about a man who, on revisiting his childhood home, hurtles unto a past where orphan children, coy lesbian lovers, and a mad scientist converge."


Manohla Dargis, The New York Times


"One of the year's 10 best films."

Manohla Dargis, The New York Times



"Imagine all the beauty of a silent black and white film but with a modern sensibility as well as a wicked sense of humor, and you begin to get a sense of Maddin's brilliant work."

Karen Wilson,


"Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin isn't known for run-of-the-mill movies, but the feature he debuted at the Toronto Fest was outrageous even for him. A silent film taking the form of a twelve-chapter Feuillade-flavored serial and designed to have live accompaniment, the movie itself is a match for any of his features to date, and could outstrip earlier efforts in the arthouse arena. To his familiar (which is not to say tired) bag of faux-vintage tricks -- the iris shots, manufactured decay, and hyper-artificial acting -- Maddin adds some newer techniques. He finds a way of integrating the flaws of digital imagemaking into an aesthetic that usually avoids any hint of the modern era, for instance: alongside his usual flash frames and jarring edits, Maddin adds the hiccupy freeze frames associated with digital playback errors."

John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter


"The finest evening at Toronto 2006? The world premiere of Guy Maddin's BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! , a comedic detour into a whirlpool of incest, lunacy, and obsession that typifies the cine-world of the wonderfully demented Winnipeg filmmaker."

Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix


"Most memorable night at the Toronto Film Festival? Has to be the world premiere of

Guy Maddin's delirious silent, 'Brand upon the BRAIN!', complete with a live orchestra, a narrator, three lab-coated foley artists to supply the sound effects, and even (allegedly) a castrato for two song sequences."

Tom Charity, Time Out London



The most joyous film at Berlin was Guy Maddin's Brand upon the BRAIN!! The film is passionately serious and poetic. Maker and master of his own cosmos, Maddin says he shot this film in nine days. That is three days longer than God took to create the world, but the extra 72 hours were worth it.

Nigel Andrews, Financial Times


"Uproariously funny and surprisingly touching. A magical experience."

Michael Dwyer, Irish Times


"What kind of silent film is this, then? In form Maddin's film assumes the shape of a serial: the 97-minute running time is divided into twelve "chapters". In place of Pearl White's exploits or the dreamlike activities of Fantß´mas, we are offered the reminiscences of a character billed as Guy Maddin himself, recalling a boyhood on the island of Black Notch. Never a dull moment here: it's home to a lighthouse, an orphanage, his repressed mother with a birthmark shaped like Romania, his mad scientist of a father, and a visitation by two childhood detectives. Among the images, inspired by Maddin's love of German Expressionism, gothic horror stories, and Hollywood's pulp junkyard, a mystery looms that needs solving: why do so many orphans have wounds on their heads? Maybe the answer has something to do with the mad scientist's syringe --"

Geoff Brown, Film Intelligence



Writer/Director Guy Maddin (based in Winnipeg, Canada), as well as representatives from The Film Company (Seattle & NY based), the Foley Group Footsteps Studios (Toronto, Canada based) and other talent are available for interview. Contact to schedule. Please indicate if you are seeking in person or phone interview, how long you need with the talent and what your deadline is.




Based in New York:


Erik Maak (plays "Adult Guy Maddin") 


Katherine E. Scharhon (plays the dual role of brother and sister teen detectives Wendy & Chance - who become Sis' lovers.)


Based in Seattle (coming to NY May 11 - 14)


Gretchen Krich (plays Mother)


Based in Los Angeles (San Francisco native, will be in SF for May 7 festival screening).


Maya Lawson (Sis)


Press Screenings & Materials


Theatrical press screenings will be held in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Please contact the appropriate publicist below if you would like to be notified of these screenings. The press screenings will be the film with recorded soundtrack and narration by Isabella Rossellini.


Materials will be online by April 1st.

Press Kits:

Available upon request by e-mail and by download at:



Download available at:


Vitagraph Films

David Shultz is the founder and president of Vitagraph Films, a self contained theatrical and home optical, television distribution entity. Vitagraph has consulted on releases of films through First Look Studios (WASSUP ROCKERS, THE PROPOSITION, A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS), Lions Gate (JU'ON THE GRUDGE) and currently, Tartan Films USA (THE CAVE OF THE YELLOW DOG, RED ROAD, THE PAGE TURNER) and independently Vitagraph released Alex de la Iglesia's EL CRIMEN PERFECTO and Takeshi Miike's AUDITION among other titles. Margot Gerber heads up all of Vitagraph's Marketing and Publicity campaigns including the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Award Nominated campaign for EL CRIMEN PERFECTO.

Press Contacts:


Press Contact National & Los Angeles:

Margot Gerber

323.461.2020, ext. 115 |


Press Contact New York:

Natascha Bodemann
Tel: (212) 673-4627 | Cell: (646) 287-2126


Press Contact Chicago:

Brian Andreotti 

Caroline Krajewski, The Silverman Group


Press Contact San Francisco International Film Festival:

Hilary Hart
Director of Publicity

Press Contact San Francisco

Steve Indig, Landmark Theatres
Senior Regional Publicist
ph: 415.352.0832 x2
fax: 415.352.0821

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