The film begins with a series of horizontally running ocean tide waves, sometimes with mountains in the background, hand-painted patterns, sometimes step-printed hand-painting, abstractions composed of distorted (jammed) TV shapes in shades of blue with occasional red, refractions of light within the camera lens, sometimes mixed with reflections of water – this “weave” of imagery occasionally revealing recognizable shapes of birds and humans, humans as fleeting figures in the water, as distant shapes in a rowboat, as human shadows, so forth. Increasingly closer images of water, and of light reflected off water, as well as of bursts of fire, intersperse the long shots, the seascapes and all the other interwoven imagery. Eventually a distant volleyball arcs across the sky filled with cumulus clouds: this is closely followed by, and interspersed with, silhouettes of a young man and woman in the sea, which leads to some extremely out-of-focus images from a front car window, an opening between soft-focus trees, a clearing. Carved wooden teeth suddenly sweep across the frame. Then the film ends on some soft-focus horizon lines, foregrounded by ocean, slowly rising and falling and rising again in the frame. —Canyon Cinema
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