Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Brothers of the Head|
Actors: Luke Treadaway, Harry Treadaway, Jonathan Pryce, John Simm, Sean Harris
Directors: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A feverish, mind-bending pseudo documentary of conjoined twins Tom and Barry Howe who were plucked from obscurity to be groomed into a boy band. -Official Selection 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival, 2006 Tribeca Film Fest... more »
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B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 11/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Deceiving audiences is risky business when it comes to films. You don't want to anger the watchers by pulling the wool over their eyes in an effort to show how naive they are. But if you do it right, and entertain them without this intent, you can pull magic out of a hat.
BROTHERS OF THE HEAD (an IFC film) is a slice of fiction shot in documentary format. It is done so convincingly (including interviews with the author of the actual novel, Brian Wilson Aldiss) that if someone wasn't aware of the film's machinations, they could easily be fooled. Although the characters and situations are completely fictitious, the era and locations and industry it portrays certainly are not.
The basic premise is that of exploitation for money and fame. Some people have no morals and will do anything to make dollars, including putting conjoined twins up on a music stage in an effort to expose the strange and bizarre; a circus act of music. The young boys' names are Tom and Harry Howe (real life twin brothers Harry and Luke Treadaway). Their mother having died at birth, the boys are swept into isolation by their protective father and their older sister. But reality sinks in as the father realizes the boys must earn a viable living somehow. When an unscrupulous entertainment guru approaches the father with a significant contract offer, the father jumps on it and the boys are sent away and taught to sing and play guitar. The British punk-rock movement of the early 70s is in full swing and the Howe brothers melt into it like heroin on a hot spoon. Their odd Siamese connection is exploited to the max, and audiences (particularly young women) fawn over the unusual pair.
Interviews with lovers, managers, supposed friends, and even the fake documentary maker are driven home with painful results. The boys are seen initially as creatures, but soon they are transformed into stars. Drugs, sex, smoking, alcohol, all become part of their daily existence as they sink further and further into a world they were never prepared for.
The mockumentary utilizes flashbacks to great advantage, showing "the head" (the location where the boys grew up) in increasingly muted and shadowed tones. It's also noteworthy to mention that "the head" has two distinct definitions: the first being their birthplace, and the second being a fetal head growing out of Barry's shoulder. This second head is only touched on, mentioning that it may very well be the downfall of the boys thanks to its cancerous nature.
But the boys aren't brought down by cancer or drugs. They succumb to the world of fame the way many rising stars do.
The ending is touching and not just a bit frightening. We know from the beginning that the boys will die (everyone refers to them in past tense from the get-go), but the manner in which they die is lonely and bitter.
There's a lot to love about this film. The British punk-rock music of the 70s is authentic (if somewhat hard to understand), and the Treadaway brothers pull in Oscar-caliber performances. The fact that some movie watchers will continue pondering the reality of the film incorporates a significant "Wow" factor."
avoraciousreader | Somewhere in the Space Time Continuum | 08/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following their highly regarded documentary "Lost in La Mancha", Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe bring us another documentary of the arts, this time the meteoric rise and fall in 1975 of the seminal punk band Bang Bang, featuring the conjoined twins Tom and Barry Howe.
The story has been told before -- memoirist Brian Aldiss at book length (a book I haven't read) and apparently Ken Russell started a film but dropped it. In addition to recent interviews with surviving personnel and historic interviews and footage, Fulton and Pepe had the advantage of access to a trove of cinema verite footage shot by a film student who lived with and followed around the brothers.
Tom and Barry Howe were born conjoined at the torso, a birth in which their mother died. Their father took them and and their older sister to live on a remote "head" (peninsula) in southeastern England, where they lead an isolated life. In a deal still a bit vague, he effectively "sold" the twentyish brothers to promoter Zak Bedderwick, who set them up in an isolated house with a music teacher, manager and when the time was right a band to accompany them. Their blossoming and self-destruction when they began to perform in public, a span of only a few months of rocketing popularity and degradation, is stunningly documented.
The relation between Tom and Barry, and the development of their individual characters (smoother, introverted Tom, the out of control, true punker, Barry) is fascinating, as is the artificial creation of the band (much like boy groups of a later era) which yet transmogrifies to something genuine and real. The stories of manager Nick Sydney, alternately brutal and caring/concerned, still shaken by the events of that critical summer thirty years ago; and participant-journalist Laura Ashworth, who fell for Tom, are treated adequately. Cameo appearances of Brian Aldiss and Ken Russell are amusing.
You may hate this film, you may love it, but it will certainly affect you. I give it 4* instead of 5 only because I found it confusing in parts, and dragging in others, more the fault of the limited sources than the filmmakers I'm sure.
The music doesn't suck either."
Excellent story, great rock and roll
Wednesday | my fallout shelter | 11/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't think I've felt so mesmerized by how beautifully authentic a movie felt to me when its totally fictional characters are so talented and revealing on every level. The movie Brothers of the Head is about England's conjoined twins Tom Howe (Harry Treadaway) and Barry Howe (Luke Treadaway) who are a strange rock-n-roll act.
The music is by British music producer Clive Langer and is so complete with wit and it is performed with genuine angst by the twins. I want to own the soundtrack immediately because it is an excellent example of pre-punk UK music, yet sounds so original in 2006. Think of the times you saw young Iggy and the Stooges either in a video or heard one of the early demo tracks by The Clash and you have the same essence of musical discovery in the UK as depicted in this film.
The picture quality is perfectly like the way films looked in the early 70s, so you always feel like the technical aspects of the film are completely transparent. The story is compelling and if you enjoyed movies like This is Spinal Tap, Velvet Goldmine and other rock "biopic" films such as Almost Famous and The Commitments, then you'll enjoy this movie as well. Movies such as the schticky Stuck on You don't explore the surrealer and darker side of life as conjoined twins and Brothers of the Head goes very far in the aspect of sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, homo-eroticism, exploitation, and self-destruction.
It often feels like you're watching a mockumentary, however the story weaves its own tale and a mockumentary pokes way more fun while this movie has an edge of romanticizing this freakish world that Barry and Tom must endure every single day that they are conjoined. Sometimes you laugh and then you wonder if it feels a little too sad to laugh, but it is so bizarre that you have to laugh because you're kind of nervous for the characters."
To Never Be Alone
Martin A Hogan | San Francisco, CA. (Hercules) | 03/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this realistic pseudo-documentary, two conjoined twins (Luke and Harry) are discovered by a talent artist and become a hugely popular British punk-rock act. It's a dark tale from the start, but the simple story of sharing every moment of your life with another person joined at the waist is mesmerizing. The joy and angst of the pill-popping, heavy drinking twins is shown clearly and plainly. Their moods change and they are conflicted about eachother, but they always remain faithful (with no other choice) to eachother's feelings. The music is hard and tough and the emotional material matches. This is a cult classic about punk-rock and the feelings that one is never alone - and that isn't always a good thing.