Four young men and a young woman sit in boredom. She smokes while one strums a lute, one looks at a magazine, and two fiddle with string. The door opens and in comes a young man, cigarette ...
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A collage of two-dimensional images of vegetation, each appearing only for a moment, sometimes as a single image, more often with other bits of stem, leaf, bud, or petal. Often we see only ... See full summary »
Images of two women, two men, and a gray cat form a montage of rapid bits of movement. A woman is in a bedroom, another wears an apron: they work with their hands, occasionally looking up. ... See full summary »
After the title, a white screen gives way to a series of frames suggestive of abstract art, usually with one or two colors dominating and rapid change in the images. Two figures emerge from... See full summary »
A stand of birches. Sunlight brightens and dims, revealing more or less of the woods. A little grass is on the forest floor. Is there a shape in the shadows? Something green is out of focus... See full summary »
Refracted images, not unlike those in a funhouse mirror, display two children playing in a backyard, a boy and a girl. There's a dog, a swing, a picket fence, a Big Wheels trike. The grass ... See full summary »
From a murky landscape, a wooded mountain emerges. We watch the sun. We see a bearded man climbing up the mountain through the snow. He carries an ax, and he's accompanied by a dog. His ... See full summary »
We see a film negative of a nude couple embracing in bed. Then, back in regular black and white images, we see them alone and together, clothed, at home. It's night, she sees his reflection... See full summary »
Four young men and a young woman sit in boredom. She smokes while one strums a lute, one looks at a magazine, and two fiddle with string. The door opens and in comes a young man, cigarette between his lips, a swagger on his face. The young woman laughs. As the four young men continue disconnected activities, the other two become a couple. When the four realize something has changed, first they stare at the couple who have kissed and now are dancing slowly. The four run from the house in a kind of frenzy and return to stare. The power of sex has unnerved them. Written by
Stan Brakhage's short film about a strange and horrifying party of weirdness and uncomfortable tone.
Stan Brakhage's short film, DESISTFILM is good because it makes the audience feel warped without giving us anything in particular to feel warped about. It is all in the sound design. The image of what appears to be people doing whatever they can to defeat boredom. The film is only seven minutes long, but this is plenty of time for the viewer to be disturbed. The music is creepy and sounds unearthly, though very zany in a strange way. Why does this music bug the senses so much? Why do the images seem so cryptic an unnatural, yet normal? This film needs to be watched more than once. More than twice even. The speed of the film feels frantic, yet the interaction between different characters seem so grungy and unreal. This film is simply a series of images of people defeating boredom. and while there may be more to it than a viewer may garter, it is still a very unforgettable experience.
(I watched this film as part of the DVD short film collection of Stan Brakhage entitled, BY BRAKHAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY.)
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