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Brothers of the Head

  • Film

Time Out says

A weird one, this ambitious tale of two conjoined twins , Tom and Barry Howe (Luke and Harry Treadaway) from deepest, foggiest Norfolk who become rock stars in the mid 1970s, live the decadent life between the rush of the stage and the captivity of a rural mansion and crash horribly as victims of their own success. On the one hand, the film’s faux-doc format, consisting of handheld shots, grabbed dialogue and talking heads (including Brian Aldriss as the writer of the genuine source novel and Ken Russell as the director of the not-so-genuine biopic, ‘Two Way Romeo’), roots the enterprise smartly in the dangerous culture it damns. On the other, this format is so minutely devised that it often distracts from the tragedy of the pair’s story.

The credible feel of this film-within-the-film remains an achievement; it’s neither mocking nor parodic and nearly always deadly serious. Directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (who made ‘Lost in La Mancha’, the chronicle of Terry Gilliam’s sad fate at the hands of Don Quixote) offer reflected comment on the entertainment machine, then and now. There are hints of Andrew Loog Oldham, Malcolm Maclaren and other bygone puppeteers of rock – but the filmmakers’ thesis could equally be applied to Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell and their latter-day harnessing of wide-eyed young talent. It’s not all finger-pointing: the film questions the longevity of all creative partnerships, especially those born from without and whose longevity and success rides on each member’s willingness to continue. The Cheeky Girls were never conjoined – but their journey was no less freaky.
Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:18
  • Release date:Friday 6 October 2006
  • Duration:90 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
  • Screenwriter:Tony Grisoni
  • Cast:
    • Harry Treadaway
    • Luke Treadaway
    • Bryan Dick
    • Sean Harris
    • Jonathan Pryce
    • John Simm
    • Brian Aldiss
    • Jane Horrocks
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