lunedì 15 dicembre 2014

Frame Enlargements from Films by Stan Brakhage

Frame Enlargements from Films by Stan Brakhage,
mostly from films discussed in the Spring 2002 issue of Chicago Review on Brakhage
Click on each small image or strip to see a larger version. If you don't see a larger version, please adjust your browser.

 

All images from Brakhage films here are reproduced by permission of the Estate of Stan Brakhage and may not be reproduced elsewhere, including on the Internet, except by permission of Marilyn Brakhage (email her at vams@shaw.ca). In addition, you must agree to the "Brakhage Stills Agreement" that Marilyn Brakhage and I have agreed upon. Once permission has been arranged, email me a copy of hte stills agreement and for higher resolution files. Plesae do not use the files on this site, which were saved at a high level of jpeg compression.


My article, Brakhage's Contradictions, a long essay on his work in general and some of his recent films, especially A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea, The Mammals of Victoria, "..." Reel 2, and "..." Reel 3, appeared in a special issue on Brakhage of Chicago Review (No. 47:4 & 48:1, Spring 2002) (purchase online, or or order now for $10.00 including shipping within the U.S. by sending a check to Subscriptions Manager, CHICAGO REVIEW, 5801 S. Kenwood Ave., Chicago IL 60637). The initial project of scanning Brakhage images was motivated by a desire to make stills for that issue to accompany essays by myself and others. Many of the images below appear in color in the Brakhage issue.
Films included on this page and others on my site, in alphabetical order: "..." Reel 2; "..." Reel 3; Anticipation of the Night; Ascension; Chartres Series; A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea; Chinese Series; Cloud Chamber; Creation; Coupling; The Dante Quartet [Hell Itself, Purgation, "existence is song"]; Dog Star Man: Part 2; Dog Star Man: Part 4; The Dead; I Take These Truths [the first part of "Trilogy"]; I... [the third part of "Trilogy"]; The Mammals of Victoria; Max; Mothlight; Murder Psalm; Panels for the Walls of Heaven; …Prelude 1; Resurrectus Est; The Riddle of Lumen; Visions in Meditation #2; Visions in Meditation #3; We Hold These [the second part of "Trilogy"]; Yggdrasill Whose Roots Are Stars in the Human Mind.

I also have additional strips of some of the Brakhage films on my Web site, and longer versions of some strips already on the site. Further, I have strips from a number of Brakhage films that are not on my site, a collection that I'm gradually adding to; I've posted a list of those films here. For those wishing to obtain stills neither shown on my site nor in the list, please inquire; I am also able to make stills from some additional films.


Stills from any film give a very incomplete picture of what the actual viewing experience, and this is particularly true of Brakhage films. The perceived imagery in Brakhage's work depends very much on movement and montage, to the extent that some things a viewer is convinced are contained in a single image are in fact only the product of movements within a shot, or/and of juxtapositions from shot to shot. Still, I've attempted to select strips and individual frames that suggest the aesthetic of each film.

Where a still image makes sense I use that; for handpainted films I've tried to use strips, and I've included some strips from photographed films to show movement and editing patterns. Above some of the strips are selected frames from those strips that I chose as particularly representative. The larger versions of these frames are not quite the highest resolution I can get. Also, unlike frames within the strip, these are cropped to reflect the cropping that 16mm projectors produce according to the current SMPTE standard. Projectors do not show the entire frame, and while Brakhage views the whole strip while painting on it, he also views the films projected before completion, and what appears on the screen is the intended final result. Similar care has been used in writing the titles of each film, which appear in italics. I have used the form of the title exactly as it appears on the film itself, which Brakhage confirms is his preferred form. Thus the title of "existence is song" includes quote marks, to take one example.

Except for Creation, the left-to-right order of these strips follows the order in which they occur in the film. Fred Camper


Descriptions of these and other Brakhage films, provided by Brakhage himself, can be found in the Brakhage section of the on-line catalog of Canyon Cinema as well as in the "B" section" of the on-line catalog of the Filmmakers Cooperative. More information on Brakhage can also be found on my Brakhage links page.
Click on each small image or strip to see a larger version. If you don't see a larger version, please adjust your browser.
From "..." Reel 2 (1998)
Note: Because of the unusual typography of the title of this film, Brakhage also permits that, if the correct rendition of the title is not possible, it can be referred to as Ellipses Reel 2.



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film "..." Reel 2, also known as Ellipses Reel 2


From "..." Reel 3 (1998)
Note: Because of the unusual typography of the title of this film, Brakhage also permits that, if the correct rendition of the title is not possible, it can be referred to as Ellipses Reel 3.



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film "..." Reel 3, also known as Ellipses Reel 3


From …Prelude 1 (1996)
Please note: This film is not the more famous Dog Star Man: Prelude, made over three decades earlier, but a completely different work.


Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film …Prelude 1


From Anticipation of the Night (1958)

The image at right below shows the Shadow Man hanging himself in the famous final scene.

Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Anticipation of the Night


From Chartres Series (1994)


Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Chartres Series


From A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea (1991),
the first of the "Vancouver Island films."



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea


From Chinese Series (2003)
The firs strip on the left is the very beginning of the film; the last strip, on the right, is the very end. The film was printed in two parts, after Brakhage's death but according to his instructions: the material that he scratched on black film was first printed with each frame repeated twice, and then printed with each frame repeated only once. The first three strips below are from the first section, and the last three from the second. Here's my brief description of Chinese Series from the
Chicago Reader, September 12, 2003: "Stan Brakhage had been planning a film inspired by Chinese ideograms for years; he made his unfinished Chinese Series in his dying months, scratching its marks on black 35-mm film. In its two haunting minutes, exploding lines flirt with the depiction of recognizable objects."


Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Chinese Series


From Creation (1979)




Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Creation


From Coupling (1999)
The last strip (on the right hand side) is from the very end of the film.



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Coupling


The Dante Quartet:

From Hell Itself (1987)
(the first of the four sections of The Dante Quartet)
The two images on the left are the very first two images of the film, each of which lasts four frames.


Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Hell Itself


From Purgation (1987)
(the third of four sections of The Dante Quartet)



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Purgation


From "existence is song" (1987)
(the last of four sections of The Dante Quartet)
The strip on the left is the very opening of the film, and the strip on the right is the very end.



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film "existence is song"


From The Dead (1960)


I include several strips below to demonstrate the very rapid montage of The Dead:

Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film The Dead


From The Mammals of Victoria (1994),
the second of the "Vancouver Island films."



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film The Mammals of Victoria


From Mothlight (1963)
These images are a bit yellower than images found on some other prints; my print is yellower than most. All prints should have some yellow, reflecting the tape on which the objects were placed.

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Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Mothlight


From Murder Psalm (1981)



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Murder Psalm


From The Riddle of Lumen (1972)


Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film The Riddle of Lumen


From Visions in Meditation #2 (1989)
This film is subtitled Mesa Verde



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Visions in Meditation #2


From Visions in Meditation #3 (1990)
This film is subtitled Plato's Cave


Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Visions in Meditation #3


From Yggdrasill Whose Roots Are Stars in the Human Mind (1997)



Frame enlargements from Stan Brakhage's film Yggdrasill Whose Roots Are Stars in the Human Mind


All images from Brakhage films here are reproduced by permission of the Estate of Stan Brakhage and may not be reproduced elsewhere, including on the Internet, except by permission of Marilyn Brakhage (email her at vams@shaw.ca). Once permission has been arranged, email me for higher resolution files.
Descriptions of these and other Brakhage films, provided by Brakhage himself, can be found in the Brakhage section of the on-line catalog of Canyon Cinema as well as in the "B" section" of the on-line catalog of the Filmmakers Cooperative. More information on Brakhage can also be found on my Brakhage links page.

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