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Stan Brakhage


TSPDT Rating

 Top 250 Directors 
Fred Camper's Top 10 Directors
David Sterritt's Top 10 Directors
501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers
See Also
Jean Cocteau
Joseph Cornell
Hollis Frampton
Peter Kubelka
Ken Jacobs
View video clips relating to this director at
Director / Cinematographer / Editor
1933 - 2003
Born January 14, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Short Film, Avant-garde/Experimental, Abstract Film
Key Collaborators: Jane Brakhage (Collaborator/Cinematographer)
Highly Recommended: The Art of Vision (1965), Text of Light (1974)
Recommended: Desistfilm (1954), Dog Star Man (1964), Scenes from Under Childhood (1970), Arabic Series (1981), Passage Through: A Ritual (1990), I... (1995)
Worth a Look: Centuries of June (1955) [co-directed by Joseph Cornell], The Wonder Ring (1955), Anticipation of the Night (1958), Cat's Cradle (1959), Wedlock House: An Intercourse (1959), Sirius Remembered (1959), The Dead (1960), Thigh Line Lyre Triangular (1961), Mothlight (1963), The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971), The Stars Are Beautiful (1974), The Loom (1986), I... Dreaming (1988), Rage Net (1988), Visions in Meditation #2: Mesa Verde (1989), A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea (1991), Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse (1991), Black Ice (1994), Commingled Containers (1997), ...Reel Three (1998), The Dark Tower (1999), The Lion and the Zebra Make God's Raw Jewels (1999), The God of Day Had Gone Down Upon Him (2000), Lovesong (2001)
Approach with Caution: Eye Myth (1967), The Dante Quartet (1987), Stellar (1993), Study in Color and Black and White (1993)
Duds: Window, Water, Baby, Moving (1962)
Links: [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors ] [ Film Reference ] [ Stan Brakhage on the Web ] [ Wikipedia ] [ The Stan Brakhage Dossier ] [ Senses of Cinema Article (2003) ] [ The Criterion Collection ] [ Rouge Article (2003) ] [ Guardian Obituary (2003) ] [ Brooklyn Rail Article (2008) ]
Books: [ Telling Time: Essays of a Visionary Filmmaker ] [ Composite Nature: A Conversation with Stan Brakhage ] [ Dissolve: Screenplays to the Films of Stan Brakhage - A Book of Poems ] [ Essential Brakhage: Selected Writings on Film-Making ] [ Stan Brakhage: Filmmaker ] [ Film at Wit's End: Eight Avant-Garde Filmmakers ] [ The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Charles Olson ]
DVD's: [ Amazon ]
1,000 Greatest Films: The Art of Vision (1964), Dog Star Man (1964)
Ain't Nobody's Blues But My Own: Anticipation of the Night (1958)
Text of Light (1974)Window, Water, Baby, Moving (1962)The Dante Quartet (1987)Dog Star Man (1964)
  "At some point in the future, when authoritative histories of twentieth century art begin to be written with the wise judgment that only distance from the present time can confer, I believe that Stan Brakhage will loom not only as one of the very greatest of filmmakers but as one of the major figures in all the arts. The sheer virtuosity of his work, the sensual beauty of his films' shapes and colors and textures, his creation of a unique and complex kind of visual music (most of his films are silent because the music comes from the screen), his appeal to the viewer as individual rather than as a member of a crowd, the ecstatic unpredictability of his spaces and rhythms, all assure the monumental importance of his close to 400 films, both individually and as a body of work. " - Fred Camper (Stan Brakhage on the Web)  
  "Among the most influential figures of the American avant-garde, he is a technical innovator and outspoken social observer...His experimental films, mostly short, have often been concerned with the manipulation of light...Overcoming limitations of funds and resources, Brakhage poured out an astonishingly large number of long and short films in a wide range of themes and style. A poet with a camera, he consistently endowed his prolific output with a pathfinder's zeal and innovate personal vision." - (The MacMillan International Film Encyclopedia, 1994)  
  "The heart of Brakhage's theory is the notion of cinema as the imitation of the act of seeing, which includes simultaneously the perpetually scanning eyes, the visual imagination and memory, and the phosphenes which are most distinct when the eyes are closed. For him, the act of making a film intensifies and makes conscious this perpetual process of vision. Any dramatic representation whatsoever is anathematized by him." - P. Adams Sitney (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)  
  "His personal life so affects his work that Brakhage sees his eyes and camera as one. Compelling examinations of people, places, things, and ideas put him into the forefront of avant-garde filmmaking.." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  
  "We have the notion that we exist but we have no way to prove it. 'I am' is the closest foundation we can get." - Stan Brakhage  

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