Brand is a gothic extravaganza in which a man returns to his childhood home, an orphanage run in a lighthouse on an island off the Scottish coast. This leads to a twisted Proustian rembrance of things past: the mother who, enthroned atop the lighthouse tower, watches over her domain through a kind of panopticon searchlight reminiscent of the Eye of Mordor; the father whose creepy experiments yield the fountain of youth . . . at a terrible price; the young cross-dressing detective, who wins the hearts of our hero and his sister; the little orphan Neddie, reduced to spastic twitches by a tragic accident . . . Murder, incest, cannibalism -- who could ask for more?
But wait! The movie was shown with live Foley technicians providing sound effects -- often as interesting to watch as the movie itself (how does one make the sound of munching human flesh?), and with a narrator (in our case, Isabella Rosellini, but on other nights an electic cast ranging from Lou Reed to Crispin Glover to John Ashberry). And an orchestra performing a terrific score by Jason Staczek, and vocals by Dov Houle, who is advertised as a castrato but sounded like a countertenor to me (not that I'm complaining!).
The movie will be performed across the country during the summer.