We begin with a relatively neutral shot of the woods, and then things appear before the trees as Brakhage paints on a transparent surface in front of the lens. Brakhage has called the film “my laboriously painted vision of the god of the forest” and also “a history of Western landscape painting from the Renaissance to Clyfford Still-if you consider Clyfford Still a landscape painter, and I do.” —DVD booklet from by Brakhage: an anthology.
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
Pair it with some Penderecki if you're feeling sinister, or something from Scott Walker's Tilt. For me, this is the kind of thing von Trier tried to do with Antichrist, but failed miserably. A 'horror film' where the anxiety and uncertainty is created by a pervasive feeling of unease, suggested, not by violence or provocation, but by the natural light and shadows of the forest obscured by the dirt between the lens.