‘Me and My Brother’


A heady intermingling of documentary and fiction, photographer Robert Frank’s first feature (finished in 1969, then re-edited by Frank in 1997) focuses on poet Peter Orlovsky’s schizophrenic brother Julius, portrayed at first in person via footage of the siblings in New York and touring the country with Allen Ginsberg, then entwined with re-enacted scenarios of actors playing the brothers and their acquaintances. Taking it a few notches more meta, the director also includes scenes of himself casting the actor who will play Julius—only Frank is portrayed by a smooth-faced, young Christopher Walken. Peppered with smudgy urban boho romps and psycho-philosophical musings, the film fits squarely between Frank’s Pull My Daisy and the painfully truthful revelations of his later video diaries. For despite its hypercubic narrative and high-modernist reflexivity, Me and My Brother offers a tangibly emotional experience as it struggles poignantly with the limits of understanding another person’s mind.

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