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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 »
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On a winter's day, a woman stretches near a window then sits in a bathtub of water. She's happy. Her lover is nearby; there are close ups of her face, her pregnant belly, and his hands caressing her. She gives birth: we see the crowning of the baby's head, then the birth itself; we watch a pair of hands tie off and cut the umbilical cord. With the help of the attending hands, the mother expels the placenta. The infant, a baby girl, nurses. We return from time to time to the bath scene. By the end, dad's excited; mother and daughter rest. Written by
I saw this short a few days ago at the Rotterdam Film Course for the International Rotterdam Film Festival and it blew me away. I had read some information about this short and wasn't that impressed, after all there are loads of programmes nowadays on TV that handle this subject as entertainment fodder.
What I did not know up front was the fact that Stan Brakhage never uses sound. That's probably where the power lies. The pictures were so incredibly strong and vibrant because of lighting, color and the sheer graphic visions Brakhage presents to the viewers that sound would have been distracting to say the least.
The pictures are not for the easily spooked persons or women who are thinking about having a baby. This is a straightforward account of child birth with all the gore, blood and beauty that accompanies it. It opened my eyes, 'cause I had never seen anything like it before in my life, and it is after all the most natural happening in the world.
After 13 minutes you will be left breathless.
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