This meditation takes its visual imperatives from the occasion of Mesa Verde, which I came to see finally as a Time rather than any such solidity as Place. “There is a terror here,” were the first words which came to mind on seeing these ruins; and for two days after, during all my photography, I was haunted by some unknown occurrence which reverberated still in these rocks and rock-structures and environs. I can no longer believe that the Indians abandoned this solid habitation because of drought, lack-of-water, somesuch. (These explanations do not, anyway, account for the fact that all memory of The Place, i.e., where it is, was eradicated from tribal memory, leaving only legend of a Time when such a place existed.) Midst the rhythms, then, of editing, I was compelled to introduce images which corroborate what the rocks said, and what the film strips seemed to say: The abandonment of Mesa Verde was an eventuality (rather than an event), was for All Time thus, and had been intrinsic from the first such human building. —Stan Brakhage, 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