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Thursday, August 09, 2007

By Brakhage

Stan Brakhage
If Maya Deren invented the American avant-garde cinema, Stan Brakhage realized its potential. Unquestionably the most important living avant-garde filmmaker, Brakhage single-handedly transformed the schism separating the avant-garde from classical filmmaking into a chasm. And the ultimate consequences have yet to be resolved; his films appear nearly as radical today as the day he made them (Senses of Cinema).

Stan Brakhage was 70 when he passed away, in 2003. He had made almost 400 movies, with durations from tens of seconds up to 4 hours. His last one, from 2003, Work in Progress (actually it was the penultimate - two rolls of 16 mm film left by him to be continued later, as he had started the work at his Chinese Series).

I've seen so far five of his movies. All are among his early ones, made in 1953-1954. He was looking for his own way between Neo-Realism and Surrealism: these short movies (between ten and some twenty minutes each) were depicting a sordid universe subtly tensioned by the expectancy of a poetic miracle: Rossellini and Cocteau. Fellini would craft such a world in his movies.

Brakhage would go later on a radical way, and he would reconsider totally the specific of the cinematic art. I am waiting for a dvd with 26 of his movies, spread over all his life, so I'll come back to talk about him.

Click here for a list of his movies to be seen on the web.



  • For folks interested in more information about Brakhage a 'Brakhage on the Web' bibliography page is available at http://www.fredcamper.com/Film/BrakhageL.html

    By Blogger Dan Romascanu, at 1:11 AM  

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