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CRACK GLASS EULOGY is not a film that one might immediately
take to liking; it's slow, dark, and purveys an ominous feeling
through both the subdued imagery and sparse musical
soundtrack. But it also grows on the viewer with repeated
screenings and in that is something unique and worthwhile.
Shot in mostly pallid blues and greys, underexposed, with frequent fades and slow lap-dissolves the film takes on a "lurking" feeling, as if the viewer (through the vision unfolding on the screen) were drifting half-asleep through a cold, dark city devoid of sunlight. It doesn't feel good. Added to this is a stark musical composition by Rick Corrigan that is reminiscent of un-metered water-drops -- if water-drops sounded like light computer blips and flutes. Together, the whole piece becomes something that is initially off- putting and yet compelling enough to warrant further examination at the same time. It sinks into one's mind like a recurring bad memory of something lost or of the process of dispersing. Full with it's own emptiness.
I have really come to like this Brakhage film for it's subtlety and languid pacing, both on it's own and in consideration of his often more frenetically paced works. CRACK GLASS EULOGY is a duller gem that might be overlooked, but still as precious and valuable as any other that would be taken to right away. 8/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The six-minute movie "Crack Glass Eulogy" was made by prolific movie director Stan Brakhage in 1991. He was already almost 60 when he made this and divorced from his wife Jane, who also starred in some of his very early works. I have to say I liked this short film more than most of his other works. It's basically nothing but a mix of the colors black (fittingly to the film's title) and blue, but it's at least working to some extent and I believe most of his films are really just a collection of flickering images with no value at all. This one is better. It's probably more fun to watch on the big screen, but still also enjoyable on a small computer screen. Another major change here is that Brakhage also has sound in the background and I thought the soundtracks fits what we see. Good for Brakhage standards, weak by general standards.
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