It is currently Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:29 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 276 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:53 pm
Location: all up in thurr
by Brakhage: an anthology (Volume 1)

Image

Working completely outside the mainstream, Stan Brakhage has made nearly 400 films over the past half century. Challenging all taboos in his exploration of birth, sex, death, and the search for God, Brakhage has turned his camera on explicit lovemaking, childbirth, even actual autopsy. Many of his most famous works pursue the nature of vision itself and transcend the act of filming. Some, including the legendary Mothlight, were made without using a camera at all. Instead, Brakhage has pioneered the art of making images directly on film itself, starting with clear leader or exposed film, then drawing, painting, and scratching it by hand. Treating each frame as a miniature canvas, Brakhage can produce only a quarter- to a half-second of film a day, but his visionary style of image-making has changed everything from cartoons and television commercials to MTV music videos and the work of such mainstream moviemakers as Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, and Oliver Stone.

Criterion is proud to present 26 masterworks by Stan Brakhage in high-definition digital transfers made from newly minted film elements. For the first time on DVD, viewers will be able to look at Brakhage's meticulously crafted frames one by one.

Two DVD set includes the films:

The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes
Black Ice
Cat’s Cradle
Commingled Containers
Crack Glass Eulogy
The Dante Quartet
The Dark Tower
Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse
Desistfilm
Dog Star Man
Eye Myth
For Marilyn
The Garden of Earthly Delights
I…Dreaming
Kindering
Love Song
Mothlight
The Stars are Beautiful
Stellar
Study in color and Black and White
Three hand-painted films: Nightmusic; Rage Net; Glaze of Cathexis
Wedlock House: An Intercourse
Window Water Baby Moving
The Wold Shadow


Special Features

- New high-definition digital transfers of all films, approved by Stan Brakhage
- Interview with the filmmaker
- Essay by Brakhage expert Fred Camper (http://www.fredcamper.com)
- Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

by Brakhage: an anthology (Volume 2)

Image Image

In Criterion’s first volume of the anthology By Brakhage, we brought twenty-six astonishing works by the avant-garde film pioneer Stan Brakhage to home video for the first time. Now, in this second installment, we are proud to present thirty more of Brakhage’s innovative creations, from 1950s films to his final work, from 2003. Highlights of this collection include the antiwar film 23rd Psalm Branch; hand-painted films from the Persian Series; The Wonder Ring, made for a commission by Joseph Cornell; the autobiographical Scenes from Under Childhood, Section One; his only found-footage film, Murder Psalm; and much more.

Three-DVD set includes the films:

TBA

Special Features

- New high-definition digital transfers of all thirty films
- Brakhage on Brakhage, a collection of video encounters with the filmmaker
- For Stan, a short film by Marilyn Brakhage
- Excerpts from a 1990 interview with Brakhage
- Footage from Brakhage’s salon at the University of Colorado
- Audio recordings of two lectures by Brakhage
- PLUS: A booklet featuring film program notes by Marilyn Brakhage and write-ups of the films by Brakhage expert Fred Camper

Volumes 1 and 2 available as a Blu-ray set.

Volume 1:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages


Volume 2:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages



Top
 Profile  
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:59 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
Last month, Marilyn Brakhage mentioned on the Frameworks listserv that "More Brakhage films will be put onto DVD, but they probably won't be
available until next year."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:16 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:56 pm
The Sonic Youth plays Stan Brakhage performance was part of a Brakhage memorial-benefit � and I can thereby only assume that the music was presented in great admiration for the artwork that Brakhage produced � but it�s still rather unfortunate that so many people should think to assign sound to Brakhage�s films. Brakhage was very specific and intentional about the use of sound (as well as, in particular, the complete absence of sound) in his films. Brakhage in interview frequently explicated:

"Film is obviously visual and, from an aesthetic standpoint, I see no need for a film to be accompanied by sound any more than I would expect a painting to be. At first I did make sound films, but I felt sound limited seeing so I gave it up. My films were complex enough and difficult enough to see without any distraction of the ear thinking. But if I felt a film needed sound, I always included it.... I want to make films that are not even corollaries of music, that wouldn't even make you think of music."

Fred Camper (who contributed the essays for by Brakhage) elaborates on the specifications for projecting Brakhage films on his website:

Camper adds, "About showing Brakhage films with music, Marilyn Brakhage, Stan's widow, heir, and executor, wrote me on August 11, 2003, I don't really believe it should be done. The idea of using a Brakhage film as 'accompaniment' just bothers me."

The addition of sound to a Brakhage film might be, in the best of circumstances, a successful artistic appropriation, but it is frequently a gross misinterpretation of the films. While I haven't yet tried to synchronize the music with the films (and do not plan to), I can only imagine that hearing Sonic Youth's atonal/atemporal improvisations would distract from seeing the films. Nevertheless, I do find Sonic Youth's interpretations engaging even when independent of their visual accompaniment (but then � without the films, I'm misinterpreting Sonic Youth).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:06 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:56 pm
as an aside, I watched DOG STAR MAN in my flat late last night, and at points I felt a quick panic response that I was going to wake people up, despite it being silent. I can only think it was caused by the density of the imagery.

That said, this is the first time I've seen it since seeing it on VHS years and years ago, and I did find it a more problematic experience this time around. I find Brakhage's reliance on viscera in DOG STAR MAN frustrating, esp. in Part III. In earlier parts he at least cuts away relatively quickly.

Still a work of genius, but not one I'm entirely comfortable with. (Of course, I tried to then steel myself for THE ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE'S OWN EYES, and couldn't even make it 45 seconds.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:48 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm
Quote:
Of course, I tried to then steel myself for THE ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE'S OWN EYES, and couldn't even make it 45 seconds.

There is no way I could watch that after reading the synopsis. I freaked out after watching one of the autopsy shows on HBO and sweared that I will never watch anything that has to do with autopsies.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 4:21 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA
Michael wrote:
Quote:
Of course, I tried to then steel myself for THE ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE'S OWN EYES, and couldn't even make it 45 seconds.

There is no way I could watch that after reading the synopsis. I freaked out after watching one of the autopsy shows on HBO and sweared that I will never watch anything that has to do with autopsies.

Kind of ACT OF SEEING's polar opposite, yet similar in style, is the absolutely breathtaking WINDOW WATER BABY MOVING. The pure joy that Brakhage and his at-the-time wife exude (and choose to share) is really moving.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:57 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
Well, the person I was arguing with here seems to have (been) disappeared without a trace long ago, so my comments make no sense, not to mention the proportionality of what they were supposed to repond to, so I'm going to delete them all.


Last edited by Gregory on Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:43 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Irving, TX
Quote:
Of course, I tried to then steel myself for THE ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE'S OWN EYES, and couldn't even make it 45 seconds.

Quote:
Kind of ACT OF SEEING's polar opposite, yet similar in style, is the absolutely breathtaking WINDOW WATER BABY MOVING.

Funny, I could handle THE ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE'S OWN EYES just fine, but when I had to steel myself for WINDOW WATER BABY MOVING my mind kept drifting to ERASERHEAD, but gooier.

That said, one of the most haunting images from any film for me is that in THE ACT OF SEEING where the brain is removed from one of the bodies and the camera lingers on the void in the skull. It really made the horizon of human existence and thought seem so small to me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:30 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 5:18 pm
Location: Rio Rancho/Albuquerque
I think we're missing the point with Act.... Brakhage himself is the subject, not the autopsies. If you read the synopsis, Brakhage said he was going through this whole mortality phase. Act is Brakhage's attempt to confront that and show the viewer Brakhage's point of view as though the camera and Brakhage were one piece.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:16 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm


Last edited by Gregory on Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:48 pm 
wax on; wax off
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:46 pm
Location: Chico, CA
oldsheperd wrote:
I think we're missing the point with Act.... Brakhage himself is the subject, not the autopsies. If you read the synopsis, Brakhage said he was going through this whole mortality phase. Act is Brakhage's attempt to confront that and show the viewer Brakhage's point of view as though the camera and Brakhage were one piece.

Not very profound, really. And I don't see why his synopsis should be an indication of "the point". It's really just his point, right? That of another viewer. And if our interpretation and his intention don't gel, tough cookies. Perhaps he should have put a little more work into the film and less time explaining himself in text.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:04 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 5:18 pm
Location: Rio Rancho/Albuquerque
I think if Brakhage did anything artistic with the film it would have lost its impact on the viewer. Although I'll probably never watch it again, I liked the grittiness and overall visceral feeling of the film.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:00 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
skuhn8, how is Brakhage's point just that of another viewer? The film was his creation. If I understand your comments, it's up to artists to use their chosen media to get their points across. However, I would point that there's also an onus on the viewer if the work is misinterpreted.

Personally, I think it's remarkable to see such an unflinching and ultimately compassionate take on the subject of death. I say compassionate because the film inspires the viewer (this one at least) to make a connection between ourselves and the dead bodies in the film. People may struggle with the question of why we have to die, but the question of how people die is something we always determine, through firsthand information if need be. In this way, the etymology of 'autopsy' connects with our attitudes toward death (we may not fully understand death, but we do believe there is a determinate explanation for each instance of it) and with the filmmaker's personal efforts to apply new ways of seeing to various subjects. Pretty profound, I think.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:48 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: NC
goofbutton wrote:
I LOVE his abstact or "non-objective" (or whatever he preferred to call it) work, but whenever a figure is involved, he has no clue what he's doing.

When it comes to his films I think it's probably more productive to say "what was the director trying to do with this" than be skeptical. The Act of Seeing... seems like a continuation of his abstract work. The shot composition seems "atonal" (brings to mind the music analogy Gregory mentioned), I think I've read statements that Brakhage purposefully avoided pretty pictures. There is a grand tradition of painting "ugly" pictures and playing "ugly" music that goes against the grain of what art theory says is correct. Interesting that you bring up Pollock, he went from incredibly abstract paint throwing (which is dirty and beautiful in my opinion) to those boring mathematically correct fractals. I hope my facts aren't too off with this, it's been a while since I studied him.

Personally, I hadn't really heard about this man or his films (except as a byline in Cook's Narrative History of Film), bought it blind, watched Window Water Baby Moving and was truly amazed. Soon after viewed Act Of Seeing... I waited until really late at night and turned off all the lights and experienced mortality while watching this film (without notes or audio explanation). If Brakhage wanted everyone in the dark movie theater to awkwardly face death through a total stranger, then I think he reached his goal pretty effectively. Still haven't sat down with Dog Star Man though (I'm still digesting the dozen or so I've seen from the set).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:06 am 
Jack Of All Tirades
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:57 am
Location: Location, Location
goofbutton wrote:
Is there any example of Brak doing a "traditional" film? I'd like to see it if there is...

Actually, you may already have. Brakhage worked for years shooting television commercials, and was among other things responsible for the infamous slow-motion shot of a soap-box bouncing on a pile of towels.

Brakhage was an extremely skilled craftsman, who developed his work through years of philosophical and technical investigations; if that constitutes "making shit up" in your book, so be it, but I prefer to think of it as "mastery."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:54 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:57 am
Location: Florida
Faux Hulot wrote:
Brakhage worked for years shooting television commercials, and was among other things responsible for the infamous slow-motion shot of a soap-box bouncing on a pile of towels.

a look at my stream of consciousness after reading this:

Wait, what? ...(ears pop)

Woah..I used to love that being done in commercials for some odd reason.

*spaces out*


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:50 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:56 pm
Quote:
But in general I stand by my interpretation that his work, when it involves figures, is poorly photographed and constructed: that is to say, it's lacking any purposeful (and I don't mean "naturalistic" or "realistic") composition, edited without any meaningful thythm, and seems unnecessarily caught halfway between figurative or abstract representation. It also seems esoteric and self-indulgent while grasping at universal myths and symbols -- and failing on both counts.

Many other filmakers more effectively use the human figure in an abstract or surreal way

unlike his "peers" in abstract or surreal painting, who all were exquisite craftsman trained in the basics of art (anatomy, gesture, proportion, perspective, etc.) Brak just seems to have made this shit up from the get-go. I won't say that this "disqualifies" his work from being valuable or good (Pollock is an example of someone who couldn't really draw but managed to make interesting art nonetheless) but Brak's limitations are pretty obvious to anyone with any sort of observational skills.

Hey, what in the world are you talking about?

Have you ever read Andr� Breton's Manifeste du surrealisme? I have. I find it strangely peculiar that you should criticize Brakhage for a lacking in �purposeful composition� while at the same time trying to lump him in with Surrealists (you know, those guys who were heavily influenced by Dada). One of the few clearly definable (anti-)aesthetic characteristics of Surrealist/Dada art was the complete dismissal and denial of the traditional/classical notions of composition (Andre Masson�s Automatic Drawings; Jean Arp�s Collage with Squares Arranged According to the Laws of Chance). But, be that as it may, you might remember that surrealism was also that art-movement that happened in the 1920-30�s, which means that Stan Brakhage was pretty far removed from this artistic paradigm.

Your argument is contradictory, superfluous, and entirely beside-the-point. You try to support your contention with Brakhage by citing your preexisting sense of �observational skill!!� If Brakahge�s visual pursuits as an artist can be distilled down to any one thing, it was to engage in a dialogue wherein we re-learn how to see, upon which �Step 1� is abandoning our preexisting observational expectations (you know, �How many shades of green are there to the untutored eye?�).

And, as long as we are going to contrast Brakhage with his �peers� and discuss traditions in filmmaking, we should at least discuss the contemporaries that he cites � chiefly Jackson Pollock and John Cage. Pollock�s main stylistic goal as a young art-student was, quite literally, to paint like a caveman. John Cage was encouraged by his music teachers to abandon music � explaining to him that he would never in his life produce good music because he was so inept in harmonic composition. Who exactly do you think Brakhage�s peers were who were trained as exquisite craftsman?

I saw a John Cage film last week � A Game of Chess with Marcel Duchamp (1987). Cage set up the cameras without looking through them (so as not to impose his own sense of compositional organization) and allowed aperture settings, focal range, and rhythms in cutting/editing to be predetermined by coin-tosses. While this shouldn�t change your opinion (that Brakhage acted without meaning in his own editing process), I hope to point out that your arguments aren�t very relevant to this tradition in art.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 5:40 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:56 pm
It�s true, however, that Brakhage was much more of a formal post-modernist than was Cage. So, I don�t want to be misunderstood as saying that Brakhage, like Cage, might have been so uninvolved with the imagery that he produced. Contrarily, Brakhage, in engaging us with the process of seeing things, meticulously produced intentionally unrecognizable imagery (he describes in Encounter No. 4 removing frames from the Dante Quartet because they didn�t fully resist representational identification). Whereby it is a great testament to his compositional mastery that, in pointing a camara at an otherwise instantly recognizable human form, he could leave a viewer feeling bewildered and uncertain what he has seen (�caught halfway between figurative [and] abstract representation�). That his films could be so visually elusive to someone suggests that Brakhage knew exactly what he was doing and that he was quite accomplished.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 3:49 pm 
Waster of Cinema
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am
by Brakhage was a bold project for Criterion - one of their finest achievements, I feel. An amazing set.

What are the chances of seeing a similar short film anthology set from Criterion? I see that volumes 2-5 of The Films of Charles and Ray Eames are OOP. I'd love to see a Criterion set of the Eames films.

And still waiting for Fantoma's Kenneth Anger films. I long to see Eaux d'Artiface again. And Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome has also been playing on my mind recently, too. I guess that finding the negatives and clearing the rights has been a tough haul. I emailed Fantoma a few weeks ago and they said that everything is coming together, but it will be a few more months before they know when it will be released.

Anyway, back to Brakhage...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:27 pm 
監督
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:34 am
Location: London, UK
I've been told that Brakhage's favorite film of recent times was Anaconda. Kubrick supposedly loved Jurassic Park (among other things, it convinced him that he could pull off A.I.). But I've lost no respect for either of them over this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:09 pm
Anaconda?

Jun-Dai wrote:
But I've lost no respect for either of them over this.

Why would you? :wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:45 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:56 pm
I read that Brakhage’s favorite films were:

The Adventures of the Exquisite Corpse – Andrew Noren
The Book of All the Dead (1974-1994) – Bruce Elder
Go! Go! Go! (1964) – Marie Mencken
Heart of London (1970) – Jack Chambers
Ivan the Terrible (1945/1958) – Sergei M Eisenstein
Motion Painting No. 1 (1947) – Oskar Fischinger
The Orpheus Trilogy – Jean Cocteau
The Poet’s Veil (1987) – Peter Herwitz
Remains to be Seen (1989) – Philip S Solomon
Symphonie Diagonale (1924) – Viking Eggeling

Although, there are a lot of rumors regarding Brakhage’s tastes in cinema, so, while it may seem reasonable, I’m never quite sure whether this type of information is completely accurate.


Last edited by timothy.newsum on Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:58 pm 
script girl
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:55 pm
Location: Where Streams Of Whiskey Are Flowing
Seriously, what's wrong with Jurassic Park? From whatever I saw, it said Kubrick loved the effects and despite the lack of blood when a dinosaur chomps a person in half the effects were damn good for the time and are still better than a lot of the effects used today. Other than that it's a great popcorn flick and the money it made proves it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:30 pm 
Waster of Cinema
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am
Jurassic Park was an incredible achievement in Cinema. SFX of dinosaurs, that look like real, moving dinosaurs. I was blown away when I saw it. Viewing it now, it is a bit of a slog, but the film remains a high-point in CGI-live-action alchemy. What I don't like is CGI landscapes, coupled with CGI monsters, coupled with cheesy whiz-bang CGI effects, with dull actors mullling around what was a huge set.

At the time, everyone was impressed by JP. No doubt Stan Brakhage gasped at such magic!

I'm looking forward to seeing more Brakhage on DVD, especially, The Text of Light.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:06 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
I don't know if I'm getting a little bit out of the topic, but has anybody seen this film/documentary of Brakhage? Here is the link.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 276 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection