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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 79.0° F  Overcast
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Brand Upon the Brain!, Smart People
Released this week: CJ7
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Brand Upon The Brain!: Canada's Guy Maddin continues his lonely effort to keep the spirit of silent films alive with this very Grimm fairy tale about a man who returns to the lighthouse where he grew up and is caught in a hurricane of repressed memories about his crazy mother, his mad-scientist father and the orphanage they ran. Just as fascinating as the memories themselves is the way they bubble to the surface, the scratchy black-and-white images whirling past us like random-firing synapses.

- Kent Williams

Smart People: A widowed professor (Dennis Quaid) finds a new love (Sarah Jessica Parker) and deals with his dysfunctional family. The language is often delicious, and the performances are good, but the film fails to get a fire going among its characters.

- Marjorie Baumgarten

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