A year and a half ago the filmmaker Nick Dorsky, hearing I was going to France, insisted I must see the Chartres Cathedral. I, who had studied picture books of its great stained-glass windows, sculpture and architecture for years, having also read Henry Adams’ great book three times, willingly complied and had an experience of several hours (in the discreet company of French filmmaker Jean-Michele Bouhours) which surely transformed my aesthetics more than any other single experience. Then Marilyn’s sister died; and I, who could not attend the funeral, sat down alone and began painting on film one day, this death in mind… Chartres in mind. Eight months later the painting was completed on four little films which comprise a suite in homage to Chartres and dedicated to Wendy Jull. —Stan Brakhage
James Stanley Brakhage (January 14, 1933 – March 9, 2003), better known as Stan Brakhage, was an American non-narrative filmmaker who is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th century experimental film.
Over the course of five decades, Brakhage created a large and diverse body of work, exploring a variety of formats, approaches and techniques that included handheld camerawork, painting directly onto celluloid, fast cutting, in-camera editing, scratching on film and the use of multiple exposures. Interested in mythology and inspired by music, poetry and visual phenomena, Brakhage sought to reveal the universal in the particular, exploring themes of birth, mortality, sexuality and innocence.
Brakhage’s films are often noted for their expressiveness and lyricism.
Born Robert Sanders in Kansas City, Missouri on June 14, 1933, Brakhage was adopted and renamed three weeks after his birth by Ludwig and Clara Brakhage.
As a child, Brakhage was… read more