“The Riddle of Lumen” presents an evenly paced sequence of images, which seem to follow an elusive logic. As in “Zorns Lemma” the viewer is called upon to recognize or invent a principle of association linking each shot with its predecessor. However, here the connection is nonverbal. A similarity, or an antithesis, of color, shape, saturation, movement, composition, or depth links one shot to another. A telling negative moment occurs in the film when we see a child studying a didactic reader in which simply represented objects are coupled with their monosyllabic names in alphabetical order. –P. Adams Sitney
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