Brothers Of The Head

Stars: Harry Treadaway, Luke Treadaway, Bryan Dick

Director: Keith Fulton

***** (out of five)



Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe got their start making The Hamster Factor and Lost In La Mancha, epic documentaries about Terry Gilliam’s movies Twelve Monkeys and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, so it isn’t terribly surprising that their first venture into dramatic features is built along the lines of a non-fiction film.


That’s Brothers Of The Head, which begins a week’s run tonight at the Bloor Cinema. With its talking heads, its film clips and its copious footage of the Bang Bang — a short-lived rock band that revolutionized the English music scene in 1975, mainly because its lead singer and lead guitarist sort of invented punk rock but also because they happened to be conjoined twins. Or possibly it was the other way around.

The Bang Bang is built around two brothers, Barry and Tom Howe, who were joined through the chest, sharing a liver and a circulatory system — and possibly a girlfriend, once the alluring Laura Ashworth (Tania Emery) lands on their doorstep.

The Howes are played by Harry and Luke Treadaway, who are identical twins, but not conjoined.

They’re also pretty good actors, able to assume a 1970s attitude without any sense of preciousness or posturing — though Fulton and Pepe’s amazing sense of period detail probably helped quite a bit there.

As written by frequent Gilliam collaborator Tony Grisoni — who based his script on the novel by Brian Aldiss — the film progresses as you’d expect, with rumblings of stardom, the arrival of hangers-on, and the inevitable descent into drugs, drink and debauchery. We can sense it won’t end well, but we’re drawn ever further in by Fulton and Pepe’s marvellous examination of the essential rock ‘n’ roll question: What happens when a band decides to split up, and can’t?