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Train On The Brain - The Ultimate Railroad Movie


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Editorial Reviews

Filmmaker Alison Murray drops out of the rat race, grabs a camera, and hits the rails with some other punk kids on a trans-continental freight train hopping adventure. On their odyssey they encounter a cast of hobos and runaways, scallywags and castaways. Amidst run-ins with the law, and surviving the perils of the elements, Alison weaves her narrative over beautifully shot film and video with an old-time soundtrack by Beck (think Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly). Train On The Brian was originally produced for Channel 4 in the UK, and was Alison Murray s first documentary film before directing Mouth to Mouth starring Ellen Page. ALISON MURRAY s films have been shown with the work of Harmony Korine, Paul Thomas Anderson, Michel Gondry and Atom Egoyan. MOUTH TO MOUTH (starring ELLEN PAGE) was her first feature film as a script writer and director. Alison Murray recently completed a documentary called CARNY about traveling carnival workers.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Todd Lewellyn, Wendy Schale, Firecracker, Preacher Steve, Lindsay
  • Directors: Alison Murray
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Hollywood Can Suck It!
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2008
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018SO3CY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,378 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Perry L. Edwards on February 7, 2011
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I really enjoyed this film, having an interest in railroading generally, and in particular the almost-vanished hobo culture. It provides a gritty close-up look at the hardships of "riding the rails", while also highlighting the scenic joys of crossing North America in this unique way. It's not for everyone, but if you've ever dreamed of "catching out" on the next westbound freight, you'll like it.
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Considering the limitations of videotaping an illegal and extremely rigorous means of travel, Alison Murray has managed to produce a heck of a good documentary. I can't imagine how she pulled it off. For all I know, she may have had a full film crew following her around, but there is no evidence of it in this film. What we see instead is a lean, well-edited, and surprisingly entertaining story about "riding the rails". The director and star of the film is a charismatic and intrepid young woman named Alison. She takes huge risks as she and various companions hobo their way across Canada and the northern US. I did it myself as a teen, so I'm familiar with both the joys and the hardships. It's just about as tough as it gets.

Alison's excitement is palpable throughout, and probably the main reason I found the film so charming. Her mood often borders on exaltation. She starts out her trip with 2 male aquaintances, veterans of train travel who show her the ropes. As is common with road friendships, however, they quickly part ways. For much of the film her only companion is another very young woman named Wendy. The two girls crawl under fences, hide behind dumpsters, avoid the cops, and roll around in the residual coal dust of an empty hopper. Towards the end of the trip, time restraints force the pair to abandon the rails in favor of an infinitely more luxurious rental car.

It's evident from the start that for Alison, at least, the trip is an adventure, not a lifestyle. She doesn't hide the fact that she has money and a home to return to. (I'm reminded of a brief period in the 1980s or 90s when hopping freight, credit card in pocket, was practiced by a very few daring young professionals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By worthydocs on July 31, 2008
If you've ever had the urge to hop a freight train and escape your mundane reality, you can vicariously live out the adventure with Alison Murray's captivating film!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Skye Evans on February 5, 2010
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wish the trip was longer, more footage, more people featured, could've been better but its good. pay no more than $15 total though.
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alison murray carny documentary
Me too!! Dying to buy it - any ideas?
Apr 7, 2011 by Christiana I. Killian |  See all 2 posts
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