Print

Print


On Thu, 24 Feb 1994 13:05:38 -0600 Rhandon Hurst said:
>        Speaking of intense and beautiful, I'm curious as to what if any changes
>in critical interpretation
>of Stan Brakhage's work has occurred since PA Sitney's Visionary Film.  What's
>the current assessment of his work in film academia?
 
Let me recommend a few revisions of Brakhage, from over the past 10 years
or so.  You can do the actual reading, if you like, rather than relying
on any detailed precis by the likes of me.
 
Jonathan Rosenbaum's Film: The Front Line 1983 (Denver: Arden Press, 1983)
points toward a more socially critical approach to Brakhage's work, though
the book doesn't follow through with any fully developed discussion of
Brakhage's work.
 
Marjorie Keller's The Untutored Eye (Rutherford, NJ:  Fairleigh Dickinson
Univ. Press, 1986) examines themes of childhood in Brakhage's films, as
well as Joesph Cornell's and Jean Cocteau's.
 
David James's Allegories of Film (Princeton:  Princeton Univ. Press, 1989)
does set Brakhage's work of the 1960s into the context of avant-garde and
radical film production during that period.
 
One of the most interesting of the lot, for me, is William C. Wees's
Light Moving in Time (Berkeley:  Univ. of California Press, 1992),
which systematically examines ideas of vision in some examples of
avant-garde filmmaking.  Understandably enough, Brakhage features
prominently.
 
To connect with the original subject of this exchange, I recently
received a copy (which means I got it, but I haven't read it yet)
of Wees's short book, produced last year at Anthology Film Archives
in conjunction with a series he programmed there, titled Recycled
Images: The Art and Politics of Found Footage Films, which as the
title indicates, concerns films that employ previously existing
material.  (I didn't find Decodings in a quick scan of the
filmography.)
 
Blaine Allan                           [log in to unmask]
Film Studies
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
Canada  K7L 3N6