Stan Brakhage

Stan Brakhage
(unattributed photograph)

“Film is obviously visual and, from an aesthetic standpoint, I see no need for a film to be accompanied by sound any more than I would expect a painting to be. At first I did make sound films, but I felt sound limited seeing so I gave it up. My films were complex enough and difficult enough to see without any distraction of the ear thinking. But if I felt a film needed sound, I always included it. In the last few years, I’ve even cut film to music — take Passage Through: A Ritual (1990) which I edited to a piece by Philip Corner — but that seems to be coming to an end. I believe now that you can only go so far with music, and then film is not music. It first became apparent to me 15 years ago when I tried to cut exactly to the measures and shifts of a Bach fugue and the result was a mess. Since film clearly isn’t music, I am now trying to find out what it is that film can do that’s purely film. I really wish to open myself to that difference. I want to make films, that are not even corollaries of music, that wouldn’t even make you think of music.”

Brakhage being interviewed in 1993, from here


‘Prelude: Dog Star Man’ (1962)
Stan Brakhage

Further resources
Fred Camper’s Brakhage website, including some beautiful frame enlargements of his films – here
A recent Creator’s Project feature on Brakhage – here
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