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 Post subject: THE BRAIN THEORY
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:13 pm 
We've waited long enough. It's time for:

THE BRAIN THEORY:

The Brain presents a nice point man and as Ebert puts it: "in the old days, an informer, bookie or newspaper reporter often found in the shadows of a bar; in "Brick," he apparently exists permanently while sitting against a back wall of the high school, from which vantage point he sees and knows, or guesses, everything."

But who is the Brain really? I understand his classic position in the structure of a film noir, as sidekick, friend or paid informant, but there's evidence enough to suggest that the Brain and Brendan are actually... (cue drumroll) ....the same person.

That's right, I am Tyler Durden.

A) We never see the Brain or Brendan with anyone else.

C) Like Brendan, the Brain has a usual spot outside of the cafeteria and the world of people.

D) The Brain solves a rubics cube in record time - even in movies, who really does this?

E) The Brain is helpful but non-essential to the action. Could Brendan have done what the Brain does himself? Absolutely. Even at the end, with the Brain supposedly out in his mom's car, keeping dibs on Laura's wherabouts all night, one could easily see Brendan making his way from The Pin's to Lauras to do the job himself. He wouldn't need the time to plant the brick in Laura's locker because we can assume it was already done post finding it planted in Tugger's trunk and pre planting Emily's body there instead before negotiations at The Pins.

The most convincing evidence for this theory lies in the final scene of the film:

F) is for Fake. After Laura begins walking away we realize that the Brain was present during Brendan's conversation with Laura. BUT - we are on a football feild and the Brain had absolutely nowhere to hide. Yet Laura never noticed him.

G) In the last Close-Up of Brendan, the camera is framed such that the Brain literally comes out of Brendan's head, we rack to him, rack back, the brain walks back into Brendan's head and before we can see him in the background cross to the camera left side of Brendan's head, we cut to the reverse POV of Laura in the distance, then back to Brendan and the Brain is gone.

If the Brain is Brendan, why would he ask what Laura whispered to him? Because Brendan has heard it but is still trying to process it all. The Brain's question just represents Brendan's struggle to intellectually grasp what's emotionally stinging him - her painful 'dirty' word(s).

All good character writing is a gestalt dialogue - a conversation between different shades of a writers identity. Maybe that's all this is. Maybe it's just Rian talking to Rian, as the whole film is. Or maybe the Brain is a device to allow Brendan to say outloud what he would otherwise just be thinking, and what would remain inaccessible to us. Or maybe it's worth further investigation.

Keep your specks peeled.

-Proverb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:27 pm 
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Ass. V.P.
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I can honestly say, with no irony at all, that this is now my favorite post on the forum. I love it. And I think I can safely add (without confirming or denying this beautiful theory) that the final shot of the Brain and Brendan was very intentional, and I'm happy someone finally caught it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:39 pm 
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Pie-Pan Grease

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Posts: 42
Dude, you're blowing my mind! :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 12:08 am 
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Pie-Pan Grease

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That's trippy yo. I have to watch it again with that theory in mind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:22 am 
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The Duke
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Holy shit.

I always knew there was a Wizard Behind The Curtain, and I always knew his name was Johnson, but now I have to ask myself whether a part of me is indeed that same wizard...or simply still just the Scarecrow...

My whole reality just went out the fucking window.

And I worked on the sucker...

I love you, Rian. And no matter how alone I'll ever feel, it's with this post that comfort and stability envelop me...

Noah

_________________
Leave the low life to the low lifers and dangle...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:50 am 
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Upper Crust
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I have to say first, this is a great theory. I did sort of take note of Brain coming out of Brendan's head, but just wrote it off as clever filmmaking rather than plot-centric.

There are two points that I can immediately think of which poke holes in the theory, however: First, when Brain gives Brendan's locker number to Emily. One would think she'd just hand the note to him rather than take the trouble to put it in his locker. The second instance is when Brain reports that Trueman is looking for him in class. Split personality or no, Trueman would probably notice Brendan sitting there. Hardly fatal to the theory, but it makes it at least a little less open-and-shut.

About point E, I actually thought that Laura stole the brick when she was at the Pin's, when she gave Brendan a ride home. That's why, the morning after, Brendan calls and specifically asks Brain if she walked to school, without stopping anywhere else. This confirms to Brendan that the brick is in the locker.

Oh, and you forgot B). But other than that, great stuff. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:59 pm 
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Lapdog
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I had the same theory but wasnt really sure. What gave it away for me was when he said at the end something like "Brain go to sleep".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:00 pm 
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Pie-Pan Grease

Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:51 pm
Posts: 26
Dude...great theory. I'll keep this in mind next time I see it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:03 pm 
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I actually had a very similar theory to this one. I could tell that Brain is specifically a very undeveloped character, he has no intentions other than respect for Brendan.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:09 pm 
1st:

Rian,
Thank you for the complement. Reassuring. I just run the numbers and see what fits. One day we'll meet, as we're in the same business, and I'll say hello. I’m a friend of Jen’s, your former costume designer. Note my initials.

2nd

Noah,
I'm glad you're reaffirmed. Walk tall.

3rd

Justin,

B) is for Brain

THE BRAIN THEORY (PART 2):

The Brain-Brendan link may be more about the close and sometimes ironic association of characters rather than a 2=1 Durden-like ride; but let's try to address your points, assuming in full the latter.

Let me begin this with my belief: it is that The Brain Theory shows Brendan’s complex internal process in an engaging, active way on screen.

LOCKER NUMBER:

If Brain and Brendan are really the same person, Brendan asking Brain about his locker number takes on new meaning. Think head-space: The scene is actually Brendan trying to remember if he had given Emily his locker number, questioning himself, realizing he has.

If he gave her his number in the past but she never used his locker, as a girl losing interest in a guy wouldn't want to do, then it makes sense that he tries to remember whether he had given her the number to start.

Imagine not hearing from someone you love for a while, then realizing she has contacted you using a method she has never used before. You consequently need to remember you made the method available to her, before you can question why she chose it.

ASS. VP TRUEMAN:

1st:

Addressing physical placement: You said "Trueman would probably notice Brendan sitting there." But if Brendan is the Brain and the Brain on the football field in the closing scene is any indication, then the Brain doesn't occupy a physical space, or Laura definitely would have seen him. This means that the Brain sitting somewhere is never the Brain sitting somewhere. And the Brain sitting somewhere is also not necessarily Brendan sitting somewhere. The only thing we can count on is that Brendan being somewhere does in fact mean that Brendan is there (unless we’re in a dream sequence at the tunnel).

2nd: The larger dilemma:

You make a good point. The Brain does report to Brendan that Trueman is looking for him in class. Here's an even larger dilemma: Brendan swipes the Brain's cell phone and calls Trueman on it. Remember- Brain: "ASK!"

By the Brain Theory, this means that Brendan may own a cell phone. Of course with all of Brendan's calls on payphones throughout the pic, this puts a hell of a dent in the theory.

Sticking to it, the only way a cell phone is possible is if it's in Brendan's head, like the Brain, who owns it. But why would a metaphoric cell phone call to Ass. VP Trueman be a part of Brendan's internal process?

Maybe because like all good gumshoes, Brendan gets hunches, knows when things are 'hinkey' and when the heat is on him, irrespective of hard fact. This means that the voice on the cell phone, that of Ass. VP Trueman, exists in Brendan's head and is not really Gary Trueman, but Brendan's hunch about where he currently stands with Gary when the news that Emily is missing hits the press.

Incidentally, Brendan goes for the phone without the Brain's permission. The phone sits in the Brain's pocket, a lot closer to his stomach than his head. If the Brain reps the whole of Brendan's internal process and the Brain's words are Brendan's intellect, then the Brain's phone may be Brendan's gut. (Not a part of the Brain but closely associated with him.)

Sample Evidence A:

Gary Trueman on the phone sounds stilted and repeats himself in a strange way. He doesn't sound like the Gary Trueman from Roundtree's earlier office scene. He comes off more like an interpretation of Gary Trueman, Brendan’s interpretation, rather than the real thing.

Sample Evidence B:

Keep up with me now:

When Brendan hangs up the phone with the Assistant VP, it's clear that Trueman is trying to tell Brendan that he is "Truant." But Brendan cuts him off. Ass. VP Gary Trueman's last words to Brendan are, "You are True-". CLICK.

If the voice of Trueman is coming out of the Brain's cell phone, and the Brain's cell phone, like the Brain himself is in Brendan's head, then Brendan IS the voice of Trueman. Brendan - is - "True".

I got all five senses and I slept last night,

-Proverb




Justin wrote:
I have to say first, this is a great theory. I did sort of take note of Brain coming out of Brendan's head, but just wrote it off as clever filmmaking rather than plot-centric.

There are two points that I can immediately think of which poke holes in the theory, however: First, when Brain gives Brendan's locker number to Emily. One would think she'd just hand the note to him rather than take the trouble to put it in his locker. The second instance is when Brain reports that Trueman is looking for him in class. Split personality or no, Trueman would probably notice Brendan sitting there. Hardly fatal to the theory, but it makes it at least a little less open-and-shut.

About point E, I actually thought that Laura stole the brick when she was at the Pin's, when she gave Brendan a ride home. That's why, the morning after, Brendan calls and specifically asks Brain if she walked to school, without stopping anywhere else. This confirms to Brendan that the brick is in the locker.

Oh, and you forgot B). But other than that, great stuff. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:50 am 
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Upper Crust
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Proverb -

What you are saying is that Brain and Brendan are in fact the same person. There I would have to dissagree. I think Brain himself is more of a symbol for what sometimes Brendan has lost touch with. Emily was essentially most of Brendans life. He didn't need Brain. But as Brain says in the first scene they are together "Haven't seen you in awhile." (not a direct quote, but he says something like that). Even though Brendan is a strong character there are still issues that he is facing. He needs an external force to guide him because of his mourning over Emily. This can be evident because he almost betrays Emily when he has sex with Laura.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:09 am 
circuitsnake wrote:
Proverb -

What you are saying is that Brain and Brendan are in fact the same person. There I would have to dissagree. I think Brain himself is more of a symbol for what sometimes Brendan has lost touch with. Emily was essentially most of Brendans life. He didn't need Brain. But as Brain says in the first scene they are together "Haven't seen you in awhile." (not a direct quote, but he says something like that). Even though Brendan is a strong character there are still issues that he is facing. He needs an external force to guide him because of his mourning over Emily. This can be evident because he almost betrays Emily when he has sex with Laura.


I don't think the brain theory is the only way to watch the movie, or even that it's necessarily true. It certainly isn't necessary to know it or to consider it while you watch the movie. There's more than enough to keep you entertained and interested without it.

But I do think that it is a take on the movie that is actually fairly difficult to refute (I keep trying to) and that putsrepeated viewings in a whole new light.

Case in point: The facts you raised are true, but they doesn't shut down the brain theory. If anything, they show how interesting the film is from this angle.

For example, Brendan having lost touch with The Brain makes sense in a pretty funny and ironic literal way. While in his relationship, he didn't have much use for the (his) Brain. While in a period of post-relationship depression, he also was at rift from the (his) Brain. Now that a mystery about Emily's whereabouts is developing, Brendan has to re-establish contact with the (his) Brain in order to begin to piece together the clues. And we get to see it happen. In Technicolor.

I think if you look at the supposedly "external force" that is guiding him as something that is internal and that relates to his intellect and his strength of character, the film gets even sharper.

6 Up,

-Proverb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:42 pm 
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Lapdog

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:25 pm
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Location: Orange County, CA
Proverb,

This is a very interesting theory. I look forward to watching the film with this in mind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:46 pm 
With the cell phone issue becoming a point of contention, I'd like to add an obviousness (yes, I just used a word from Barfly...)

Hasn't it been established that folks don't like to use cell phones for "questionable" or traceable calls?

Without stating how I feel about the theory (other than it's bad ass), it would make sense that certain calls Brendan makes would be alright to have under cell phone records whereas others would be red flags for authorities or parents who get the bill...

Also, wouldn't it also be a bit obvious to Brendan that he is truant and school officials are looking for him? Help from Assistant V.P. Truman aside, teachers are still going to consider him tardy or absent...Permanent record-type-stuff...

Noah


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:00 pm 
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The Duke
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Stupid "Guest" post...



With the cell phone issue becoming a point of contention, I'd like to add an obviousness (yes, I just used a word from Barfly...)

Hasn't it been established that folks don't like to use cell phones for "questionable" or traceable calls?

Without stating how I feel about the theory (other than it's bad ass), it would make sense that certain calls Brendan makes would be alright to have under cell phone records whereas others would be red flags for authorities or parents who get the bill...

Also, wouldn't it also be a bit obvious to Brendan that he is truant and school officials are looking for him? Help from Assistant V.P. Truman aside, teachers are still going to consider him tardy or absent...Permanent record-type-stuff...

Noah

_________________
Leave the low life to the low lifers and dangle...


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