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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Stan Brakhage described his film as "a hand-painted visualization of sex in the mind's eye". My mind finds little that could be called erotic, but much that is visually sensuous. In part, that is due to his painting techniques here, as many of the individual images are strongly crackled or impastoed and apparently photographed still wet, so that the paint glistens in the changing light. Additionally, the rate of image change is much slower than usual with him. Rather than the expected 12-24 images per second, here we see 2 or 3 per second and have more time to enjoy the abstract shapes and the rotation of rich colors through the palette. Should some numerically-oriented person ever decide to count the total of individual paintings done by Brakhage in his hundreds of short films, I think we'll find that Picasso was not the most prolific painter of the 20th century after all. "Lovesong" forms a striking and satisfying conclusion to the "By Brakhage" collection.
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