Stan Brakhage in Memoriam

Film specials

The recently deceased Stan Brakhage (January 14, 1933 – March 9, 2003) undoubtedly was one of the key figures in the development of experimental film after the Second World War. He made many hundreds of films varying in length from nine seconds to more than four hours. With his films Brakhage changed the perception of what film exactly is. Films can be made without actors and storyline, and even without a camera as shown by him with his many hand-painted films. Film is able to represent perception and visual stimuli in a very direct manner. Film is light, colour and movement. Over the years, the Impakt Festival has shown many works of Stan Brakhage and with a small In Memoriam program Impakt wishes to commemorate Stan Brakhage and his work.

On Thursday 5 June Simon Field, artistic director of the Rotterdam Film Festival will introduce the screenings of the Stan Brakhage In Memoriam. Simon Field was a personal friend of Stan Brakhage and is well known with his work.

Programme 1

Thursday, 5 June, 20.00h, Cinema
Sunday, 8 June, 15.00h, Cinema

16mm / 01:18:00 / USA / 1961-1964
“Dog Star Man” is generally considered as Stan Brakhage’s most important work and it is listed alongside “Citizen Kane”, “Star Wars” and the Zapruder footage of the John F. Kennedy assassination as among the most important films ever made, according to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. Dog Star Man is an epic drama of the creation of the universe. The film consists of 4 parts and a prelude, all made within a period of 4 years.

Programme 2

Thursday, 5 June, 22.00h, Cinema
Sunday, 8 June, 13.30h, Cinema

16mm / 00:50:00 / USA / 1990
When I received the tape of Philip Corner’s Through the Mysterious Barricade, Lumen 1 (after F. Couperin), he included a note that thanked me for my film, THE RIDDLE OF LUMEN, he’d just seen and which had in some way inspired this music. I, in turn, was so moved by the tape he sent I immediately asked his permission to “set it to film.” (Stan Brakhage)

16mm / 00:02:25 / USA / 1996
A fine example of the many handpainted films Stan Brakhage made during his life. Brakhage developed this technique, in which paint and scratches are directly applied to the filmstrip, to perfection.

16mm / 00:08:00 / USA / 2003
Together with The Chinese Series, a 35mm film that was left unfinished this can be considered Stan Brakhage’s final work. ‘Stan’s Window’ is a small self-portrait made from his bed. The film has been assembled by Mary Beth Reed. Brakhage saw the camera rolls on videotape and gave her instruc- tions in writing and in person before he died.

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