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Friday, Nov. 21, 2003
Massive Brakhage retrospective
"Imagine an eye . . . which does not respond to the name of everything, but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of 'Green'? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye?" So wrote Stan Brakhage, long considered the godfather of American avant-garde cinema, in his seminal book of essays, "Metaphors On Vision."
When Brakhage passed away on March 9 this year, aged 70, he left behind an awesome legacy of some 369 films ranging in length from nine seconds to four hours. His style -- always changing, always oblique -- encompassed a vast variety of approaches: radical editing; abstract use of perspective and focus; single-frame inserts; and direct application of painting and etching onto the film. His was "art cinema" in the truest sense; films that largely abandoned left-brain storytelling and words in favor of more right-brain experiences that played with feeling and sensation.
Mistral-Japan will be holding a massive retrospective of Brakhage's work throughout Japan, featuring 90 films divided into 15 programs, ranging from the early camera-manipulation style of "Anticipation of the Night" (1958), to the bizarre collage of "Mothlight" (1963), in which Brakhage glued bug wings directly onto the film, and his epic multipart work "Dog Star Man" (1961-64).
Brakhage Eyes 2003-2004 plays at the Yokohama Aka-renga Warehouse #1 Hall from Nov. 22-24 and Nov. 28-30. Call (045) 211-1515 for program times or go to www.brakhage-eyes.com