Friday, March 21, 2008

The Art of Vision

My friend Renee introduced me to the amazing world of Stan Brakhage, one of the American avant-garde filmmakers. Influenced by Eisenstein's montage theory, Brakhage developed his own language of montage in almost pure visual sense. He explored different ways to make a movie, such as hand painting directly on film, filmming paintings and collages. Most of his films are silent, however, the dense montage of images creates a rhythm. After watching a few of his works, I found an interesting thing happened to me: a vague music score started forming in my head as the images flew in front of my eyes!

Besides all the new techniques and perceptions Brakhage brought to filmmaking, what I found very inspiring is that he proved the possibility of doing great films with low budget. His projects were low budget indeed, ranging from tens to hundreds of dollars. His subjects are either everyday domestic life or monther nature. His extraordinary vision led us to a whole new dimension of seeing the world.

My favorites include Mothlight, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Black Ice, Commingled Containers, Cat's Cradle...You can find most of his important works from Criterion Collection DVD By Brakhage: An Anthology.

The Garden of Earthly Delights (1981)

Commingled Containrs (1997)


Anonymous said...

i dont remember which film it is, and i dont remember if it was Brakhage's film either, but we were talking about one of the avant-garde films, and if you play one of Pink Floyd's songs along the film (shamefully i dont remember which song again), they totally sync, which i think is amazing!


XENIA said...

that's really cool!
look like i have to try EACH Brakhage's film with EACH PF's song, but probably still can't succeed :P