Brothers Of The Head

"Excellent"

Brothers Of The Head Review


As Terry Gilliam's film and world were crumbling around him, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe were there with their cameras rolling. What once could have been a nifty little making-of documentary turned into a turbulent, God-doesn't-want-it chronicle of a filmmaker who is pushed to the edge and ultimately has to give up. Fulton and Pepe got lucky with Lost in La Mancha, but now they have to prove their worth with a sophomore effort. To prove that point they have chosen to pour their talent into a fictional story about... conjoined twin rock stars?

Fulton and Pepe thrust us into the lives of the Howe brothers (Luke and Harry Treadway), conjoined by a small extension of flesh at the middle of their ribs. At the age of 18, they are picked up by music promoter Zak Bedderwick and coupled with manager Nick Sydney (Sean Harris, pure sleaze with the moustache to match) and bassist Paul Day (Bryan Dick) to start a rock band. The sessions bring out the differences in the brothers: Tom's quiet sensitivity and genius at guitar and Barry's outlandish and audacious singing. The band's sound emulates punk icons The Sonics and shreds out on stage as Barry taunts the audience to touch the flesh that connects him to Tom. Things go haywire when a woman, medical journalist Laura (Tania Emery), falls for Tom and rouses feelings of wanting freedom from the eccentric, often dangerous Barry.

Done in a pseudomentary (they refuse to call it mockumentary) style, Brothers of the Head mixes normal handheld camera work with avant-garde films the brothers shot themselves and a botched Ken Russell biopic (starring Jonathan Pryce no less). Fulton and Pepe have found a tone that borders on gothic but brings to mind the mystic fogginess of the late 1770 period of Jane Austen's novels. The difference is that where Austen went for a certain romantic sorcery, Brothers of the Head handles itself with an eerily macabre sense of dread.

We hardly get to know the brothers, intentionally, which leaves us to take in all the stories and opinions of their friends and family (they have a sister). Fulton and Pepe sometimes wander into straight creepiness, especially with playing tapes of the brothers talking in their sleep over avant-garde Super-8 footage. What seems so interesting about the information we are given is that we are given almost the full story. The interviews with all involved including Eddie (an excellent Tom Bower), the man who filmed most of the documentary footage, subtly outlines what was going on between the brothers and Tom's growing intolerance brought on by his love for Laura. The last scene with Roberta, their sister, explains how the brothers ended with a haunting omission.

Pepe and Fulton seem to have mastered a certain ability to capture a time period while being authentic both to its trends and their style (not completely unlike Gilliam's work). The storytelling they are doing here (much due respect to ace screenwriter Tony Grisoni) is unlike anything I've seen in awhile; stating a style but not condensing it to some pre-determined end or structure. Frightening and deeply efficient, Fulton and Pepe have staved off their own Lost in La Mancha for at least one more movie.

The DVD includes deleted and extended scenes.

Reviewed as part of the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

Perhaps a Foghat cover is in order.



Brothers Of The Head

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 6th October 2006

Distributed by: IFC Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Gail Egan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.