Critical Acclaim
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Press Release
Guy Maddin Bio

Composer Bio
Actor Bios
About the Foley Artists
Cast and Crew List

Synopsis (pdf)
Production Notes
Photos (hi-res)

Official Website

New York Overview
New York Narrator Schedule & Biographies
New York Orchestra
New York Venue

Los Angeles Engagement Overview
Los Angeles Media Alert
Los Angeles Venue

Chicago Venue
Chicago Orchestra
Chicago Narrator


The Film Company

Vitagraph Films &
The Film Company

Photos by Alan L. Weintraub


"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



"This is the film event of the year and it arrives dripping with something called Orphan Nectar."

Grady Hendrix, The New York Sun


3 ½ Stars – New York Post

"Unlike anything out there." – Lou Lumenick, New York Post


"The film casts a mesmerizing spell… delicious, ingenious, often very funny and strangely touching…"

-- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times


"High Priority" ranking – New York Magazine

"It’s near impossible to be this willfully weird and yet so compulsively watchable, but somehow Guy Maddin pulls it off…"

-- Logan Hill, New York Magazine


**** (4 stars) "…A retro silent thriller that might be found in Lon Chaney’s basement."

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York



*** ½ "Unlike anything out there."

Lou Lumenick, New York Post


"Critic’s Pick" It’s near impossible to be this willfully weird and yet so compulsively watchable, but somehow Guy Maddin pulls it off…"

Logan Hill, New York Magazine


"This is the FILM EVENT OF THE YEAR and it arrives dripping with something called Orphan Nectar."


Grady Hendrix, The New York Sun

"The film is a singular achievement."


Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune



"Majestically strange and intermittently hilarious, it’s one of the damndest things you’ll ever see on a movie screen."

Cliff Doerksen, Time Out Chicago



"A psychosexually inflamed fusion of childhood reminiscence, Victorian melodrama, Freudian horror film and gender-bending Nancy Drew adventure…"


Cliff Doerksen, Time Out Chicago

"Enhanced by Jason Staczek's superb score…"


Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader


"For me, Maddin seems to penetrate to the hidden layers beneath the surface of the movies, revealing a surrealistic underworld of fears, fantasies and obsessions."


Roger Ebert



"…a phantasmagoric story that could be a collaboration between Edgar Allan Poe and Salvador Dali. It's an astonishing film: weird, obsessed, drawing on subterranean impulses, hypnotic."

Roger Ebert


"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 Fantômas, 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


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