Brainstorm

Brainstorm (1983)

1 suggested correction

(2 votes)

Continuity mistake: When Christopher Walken gives his wife a tape of his best memories, many of the shots are 3rd-person, of the two of them, and not 1st-person, from his perspective, like everyone else's recordings. (00:44:40)

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Suggested correction: The device that records experience, esp. memory, is sometimes viewed in a non-logical way. This is because memories and emotions are not usually recalled exactly as they occurred. The brain is not a camera. There are complex mechanisms at work. I assume the filmmaker had this in mind.

Producer/director Douglas Trumbull knew that the montage of romantic memories was vital to establishing a backstory for the relationship between Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. This montage was the first time we see the love they actually had for one another, so it was necessary to show them interacting on the screen. If Trumbull had stayed strictly with the movie's premise of first-person brain-recording technology, the montage of romantic memories would be nothing but closeup shots of Natalie Wood (from Walken's perspective), with no visual interaction between the couple. So, Trumbull violated the first-person technological premise of the film in order to more firmly establish the depth of their relationship. Trumbull did the same thing for Louise Fletcher's memory sequence. It was a matter of artistic license.

Charles Austin Miller

Continuity mistake: As Mike and Karen walk the aisle at Lillian's funeral, she links her arm with his. The camera cuts to a wider angle and they're not touching. (00:59:50)

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Dr. Michael Anthony Brace: When I found her, she looked so peaceful. Why do you have to die to let go? All my life, I never needed anybody... And now, because of this thing she left me, I'm scared. For the first time in my life, I'm scared. But the thing is, I like it. I want more. You're married to a man who has a chance to take a scientific look at the scariest thing people ever have to face. I've gotta do this... gotta play that tape, and you gotta help me.

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Trivia: Contrary to longstanding rumors, Natalie Wood's death did not change the plot or threaten production of this film. At the time of her death, Wood had already completed all of her principal photography, including the ending. According to producer/director Douglas Trumbull, the truth of the matter was that Metro Goldwyn Mayer was in financial trouble and saw Wood's death as an opportunity to bail itself out of debt; so, MGM halted production of "Brainstorm" and tried to write-off the film as a loss in order to collect a sizable insurance claim from Lloyd's of London. When Lloyd's investigated the claim and deposed Douglas Trumbull, he told Lloyd's that the movie was not at all damaged or threatened by Wood's death, and that it could easily be completed. Although MGM refused to pay for the film's completion, Lloyd's of London itself gave Trumbull $5.8 million to finish production.

Charles Austin Miller

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