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Mothlight (1963)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,403 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 7 critic

A "found foliage" film composed of insects, leaves, and other detritus sandwiched between two strips of perforated tape.

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Title: Mothlight (1963)

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Storyline

Seemingly at random, the wings and other bits of moths and insects move rapidly across the screen. Most are brown or sepia; up close, we can see patterns within wings, similar to the veins in a leaf. Sometimes the images look like paper cutouts, like Matisse. Green objects occasionally appear. Most wings are translucent. The technique makes them appear to be stuck directly to the film. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

wings | insect | brown | sepia | moth | See All (15) »

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Release Date:

9 April 2004 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

To fos tis nyhtopetaloudas  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Referenced in The Jacket (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I'm beginning to see the light
1 February 2006 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

It's rather tricky to rate and review a 4 minute film but I'm gonna try anyway. From the very beginning so called "experimental film" has dealt with the material of the film as such and there is a whole tradition of films made without the help of a camera. You can scribble on it, you can scratch it or as it was done here, you can glue two dimensional and transparent objects to it, then sandwich the negative onto it and let it run past a light source in order to expose it. Some people still think that film depicts reality, whereas all it really does is depict a reproduction of reality. But surely there must be another reality than what Hollywood is trying to sell us and Brakhage's approach is as simple as it is beautiful. In Mothlight wings of insects and thin leaves flutter over the screen and since each frame has no relation to it's preceding image, the outcome is rather fidgety. However, if you relax and stay focused at the same time you will realise that watching Mothlight is like staring at a bright light that is surrounded by moths. When I watched it for the first time, I thought the effect was rather impressive. You might argue that you don't go to the movies to watch moths flutter around bright lights but there is so much more to it. Experimantal film has always questioned our way of perceiving the world and Mothlight is no exception. Only it's also very beautiful and thus very entertaining.


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