“This is by… is stated in several different ways by.. Tennessee Williams, in different plays, in several ways, and it is his main statement – “Nothing human disgusts me except deliberate cruelty” – and I’d like to live by that, I want to be good enough to live by that – and I think Allen was… “Nothing..”… I think he never was deliberately cruel, in my knowledge, to anybody.”
Here‘s Brakhage at Naropa in 1975, in discussion, prior to showing some films. Here‘s Brakhage interviewed, on that same occasion, by Sharon Niederman for the program, “Open Secret”
Ronald Bergen in his obituary in The Guardian – “During five decades, Brakhage made nearly 380 films, most of them shot in 8mm or 16mm, and ranging in length from nine seconds to four hours. With a few exceptions, they were made without sound, which he felt might spoil the intensity of the visual experience. He preferred to think of his films as metaphorical, abstract and highly subjective – a kind of poetry written with light.”
As he tells Colin Still, “Probably in my life my richest correspondence has been with poets..”
Here’s a few (just a few) Brakhage films (with the crucial caveat that, of course, it’s not the same – you should, of course, be watching the films for real rather than seeing them on You Tube, but still…) – Mothlight (1963), Dog Star Man (1961-1964), 23rd Psalm Branch (1967). The Text of Light (1974), Night Music (1986), The Dante Quartet (1987) and his last film Chinese Series. – ah, what’s the use of making lists? – check out his film at the Film-Makers Coop – here
The Essential Brakhage is indeed an essential book.
As is the two-volume anthology Criterion DVD
Today, January 14, is the anniversary of Stan Brakhage’s birth.