Foghorns! Orphans!! Lust!!!

Guy Maddin's latest fever dream

Their florid titles—like Twilight of the Ice Nymphs or Cowards Bend the Knee—are the campiest things about the hyper-stylized films of Canadian director Guy Maddin, subtly disturbing, pulsatingly lurid melodramas which often appropriate the style of early expressionist silents. His most recent production, Brand Upon the Brain!, was shot in Seattle with a local cast and crew, and is being screened around the country with the soundtrack—not just the music, but the narration and sound effects too—performed live. Bill Blauvelt of Aono Jikken, the new-music ensemble charged with creating the sound effects, reports that their responsibilities include “doors creaking and slamming; footsteps in stairwells; lighthouse painting; boats on the sea; a windswept island; kissing; undressing; peeing; murder by knife; scalping; garroting; bones breaking; electrocution; burials; ghosts; maternal guilt-tripping; running through all types of terrain; thrown slabs of butter; dishes breaking; foghorns; mist appearing/dissipating; sleeping gas; turpentine baths; blood sucking; orphan exploitation; the effects of mind-altering drugs and sensory overload; a mad scientist’s laboratory; rapid aging processes; bonfires; clocks ticking; hamsters running; newborn babies; teddy bears being squeezed; rotating ‘spy chairs’; primitive radio/phonograph communication devices; etc.” Oh, did I mention the 11-piece orchestra? And the castrato? They’ll be there too. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better: the narrator for Wednesday's showing will be—Karen Black. Maddin himnself narrates Thursday; Brand runs the rest of the week at Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave.) with a pre-recorded soundtrack ($5-$8.50, 7:15 and 9 p.m., Oct. 12-15).

Wed., Oct. 10, 8 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 11, 2007

 
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