Cody, Robert, and Nat dive deep into the mind with a look at 1983’s BRAINSTORM.
The troubled production of BRAINSTORM, Natalie Wood died during filming, is probably what the film is most famous for today. But, it’s an ambitious film aiming to explore big ideas like our deepest dreams and nightmares, emotions like love, memory, the line between life and death, and potential abuse by the military and corporate greed.
BRAINSTORM was also intended to be a big technological breakthrough for film blending widescreen, 70 mm, high frame rate footage, with more traditional 35 mm footage. That never made it to theaters, but it demonstrates the technological aspirations of the film. You can be sure it would be shot for IMAX today.
Compromised by Natalie Wood’s death and fights over insurance, BRAINSTORM almost didn’t come to be. But the final result doesn’t appear to be compromised by Natalie Wood’s death, albeit the pall of her death didn’t do much for the box office of the film.
To the film’s credit, the film absolutely considers and addresses the implications of a device that can peer into and record the mind’s eye. Perhaps that’s the strongest part of the film as it follows the development from breakthrough, to corporate pitch, to unsavory developments from the military application or porn. The implications are consistently well thoughtout and visualized even if the characters are not always. Developed by Christopher Walken and Louise Fletcher, constantly chain smoking, it ultimately comes to be therapy for Walken’s failing marriage to Natalie Wood and his own distance from humanity. We have much to say on BRAINSTORM and in relation to the previously discussed STRANGE DAYS.
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0:00 – BRAINSTORM Discussion
1:02:29- Next Movie and Outro
Next month, we take a trip to the earliest days of science fiction movie making with a short and a feature discussion of A TRIP TO THE MOON and A TRIP TO MARS a.k.a. HIMMELSKIBET. We hope you’ll join us.
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