A man is supine on a mountain side. Images rush past of nature and a stained glass saint. An infant is born. We see a lactating nipple. Images include a mountain peak, farm buildings, a ...
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A man, accompanied by a dog, struggles through snow on a mountain side. We see film stock blister; drawn square shapes appear. Then, we see an infant's face. The images of struggling ... 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 »
Sexual intimacy. Three kinds of images race past, superimposed on each other sometimes: two bodies, a man and a woman's, close up, nude - patches of skin, wisps of hair, glimpses of a face ... 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 »
A visual representation, in four parts, of one man's internalization of "The Divine Comedy." Hell is a series of multicolored brush strokes against a white background; the speed of the ... See full summary »
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 »
A man is supine on a mountain side. Images rush past of nature and a stained glass saint. An infant is born. We see a lactating nipple. Images include a mountain peak, farm buildings, a tree stump, a fire, a crawling baby, and the sun. The man falls and rolls. Then, later, he swings his ax. Written by
If there's any theme to this final part of the Dog Star Man saga or epic or Tone Poem to the Nature and Human Body itself, it's birth and rebirth. We see a baby being born in very quick fragments - it's clear it is a baby, the amniotic fluid can't be obscured no matter how many super-impositions there are - and then the man on the mountain needs to be reborn as well into... something more, I suppose(?) Whatever it is, this is a fine culmination of what Brakhage had on his mind at the time. According to other people online, at the time the filmmaker was in trouble as he was out of work and had kids before and another on the way. Sometimes if you're living in that part of the country of Colorado and the mountains it's more than likely to have that Sysyphus feeling of continually rolling the rock up the hill with little result except the continuation of that.
It may be hard to discern any 'theme' from this for some who are only in it for the visual pleasures and mind-f***ery. For the latter part that's certainly still here and in a fairly awesome way that's consistent through the other parts (and clearly if you made it this far you've at least been able to tolerate the other four parts, I include the prelude with that).
But I could see it as being about what it means to be a... human being, in essence: to create life, to witness life, to grow, to copulate, to climb a goddamn mountain and chop some wood. Oh, and to have Man's Best Friend at your side guiding you (or trying to lick your face until you get up again) certainly helps.
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