Lumière, Maysles, Kuchar and More: Filmmaking Brothers in This Week’s Spotlight

Brotherly Love

For National Sibling Day Friday, April 10, we are showcasing the powerfully connected and collaborative spirits of filmmaking brothers, past and present. 

Every film is a collaboration. Sometimes, that shared vision lands extremely close to home. In this week’s Spotlight, get a healthy helping of films made by brothers— It seems only a fitting way to observe National Sibling Day, since of course the Lumière brothers were history’s very first filmmakers! Here are some of the other films we’re highlighting in this collection of “family films”:

The InterventionWatch THE INTERVENTION dir the Duplass brothers on FandorThe versatile Duplass brothers — Jay and Mark — are ubiquitous these days, with projects and roles on small and big screens alike! This short film is a pure example of what they arguably do best: awkwardness from the mise-en-scene to the timing. Watch for Mark’s wife and The League co-star Katie Aselton, playing one of lead Steve Zissis’ frightfully well-meaning friends.

Watch FRONTIER dir the Zellner Brothers on Fandor
Starring Dazed and Confused‘s Wiley Wiggins as one-half of a “Bulbovian” colonizing team and filmed entirely in their native tongue, this feature film is actually even weirder than it sounds. Brothers David and Nathan Zellner have a recent hit with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, but this early, ambitious and unmistakably original offering shows that they’ve been refining this recipe for years.

Watch TCHOUPITOULAS dir the Ross Brothers on Fandor
Three boys, themselves brothers, wander the New Orleans night, guiding Turner Ross and Bill Ross IV through a world of electricity and magic presented in dizzying cinema vérité style. This series of montages is infused with the sounds of the city as well as a cinematography style that highlights the youthful energy of the protagonists and the seductive draw of the bustling streets.   

Sins of the Fleshapoids
Watch SINS OF THE FLESHAPOIDS dir Mike Kuchar on Fandor
Few underground filmmakers are as prolific or beloved as the gloriously strange Mike Kuchar and his late brother George. Not just brothers but twins, the two collaborated on multiple projects over decades and decades of mutual inspiration, like this film, which they co-wrote. Other cult cinema icons like John Waters have cited the Kuchars as a major influence, and it’s easy to see why in this campy, futuristic sci-fi drama. Like contemporaries Anger and Warhol, the Kuchars truly indulged their artistic whims to create something utterly unforgettable.

 Meet Marlon Brando
Watch MEET MARLON BRANDO dir the Maysles Brothers on Fandor

Any discussion of filmmaking brothers would be incomplete without mention of Albert and David Maysles. From Grey Gardens to Gimme Shelter, their documentaries defined a generation and moved the form forward with dynamism. Although neither of these brothers are still with us, their legacy is firmly cemented in cinema history. This portrait of a movie star at the zenith of his charismatic powers the New York Post called “…possibly the best and most appealing personal portrait of a major film star ever made” is a must-watch.

From early silents to more breathtaking documentaries (and plenty of offbeat narratives), there are ten other films in this Spotlight made by these and other filmmaking teams of brothers! So happy National Sibling Day, and happy watching!

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