Filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (Lost in La Mancha, 2002) mount their first narrative feature—inspired by a 1977 Brian Aldiss novel—with considerable élan, putting the full arsenal of their documentary skills to use in blurring the border between reality and fiction. To call Brothers of the Head a “mockumentary” would be a misnomer; Fulton and Pepe’s intent is more serious and their themes much darker. In an earlier era, conjoined twins Barry and Tom Howe might have been a freak show attraction. In 1974 England, they seem poised for stardom as the front men of The Bang Bang, a band whose raw and raucous sound fills the gap between glam rock and the coming punk movement. But fame eludes them when drugs, jealousy and a woman come between them, destroying the band and creating a rift that is all the more anguished by the brothers’ inability to ever live apart. Decades after the group’s meltdown, American filmmaker Eddie Pasqua revisits the Howes and their tragic destiny with an insightful documentary that blends contemporary interviews, archival footage and clips from Ken Russell’s unfinished biopic Two-Way Romeo. Stylistically, Brothers of the Head calls to mind classic rock documentaries, including the Maysles Brothers’ Gimme Shelter, Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues and much of D.A. Pennebaker’s oeuvre, while its wit recalls Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People and Todd Haynes’s Velvet Goldmine. New Wave pioneer Clive Langer composed the visceral soundtrack that charismatic newcomers Harry and Luke Treadaway, fronting The Bang Bang, bring to ferocious, glorious life. –SFIFF
Quite interesting mockumentary adaptating Brian Aldiss' novel into a strange but heady mix. Use of interviews, doc footage and clips from a unfinished Ken Russell picture (Russell plays along quite sportingly) make up the interesting space populated by the camera work of the great Anthony Dod Mantle. Dark script authored by Tony Grisoni with a fitting song score by Clive Langer. For fans of the strange yet beautiful.