Stan Brakhage, the greatest avant-garde filmmaker of the 20th Century, has died.
He made over 300 of the most distinct experimental films in cinema. Many of his films are abstract expressionist psychodramas that sing to their own colorful syncopated lyrical rhythm. Through editing, camera movement, superimposition and physically altering the film (such as painting on it and scratching it) he has tried to approximate various forms of vision – such as peripheral and hypnagogic (closed eye) vision, memory, such as optical feedback, as well as the nature of thinking and feeling, which tie into our nervous system. He was a true visionary and he will be missed by all.
I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times and being in his presence about a half dozen times at various film festivals. The great thing about him was the enthusiasm he had for the film medium. Even if you didn't understand his films he had a very persuasive way of making you appreciate them as not only works of art but essential works of life.
Here's the best web site on Brakhage.
Here's a piece I wrote on him for the upcoming Criterion Collection DVD.
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