5.9/10
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Prelude 2 (1996)

Not Rated | | Short

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Not Rated
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1.37 : 1
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Followed by Prelude 4 (1996) See more »

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Thin blues
8 September 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Stan Brakhage described 'Prelude 2 (1996),' the second in a series of 24 short films, as follows: "Interplay of toned rectangular shapes, vertical and horizontal and diagonal lines in juxtaposition with hardened darker shapes which gradually shift tone and lighten until ending on thin blues." I can't argue with this description: there are certainly toned rectangular shapes, all sorts of lines, and hardened darker shapes, but why do they matter? Hand-painted directly onto sections of 16mm film, "Prelude 2" (as with its predecessor) seems to be operating on a one-dimensional level: that of art painted directly onto film. The animation doesn't distort the viewer's visual perception – as was the case with 'Black Ice (1994)' – nor does it inspire the subconscious to invent its own reality, as I found with 'The Dante Quartet (1987).' Instead, it gave me a little bit of a headache, which only worsened when I tried to decipher Brakhage's artistic motivations. There must be something to the "Preludes," or else he wouldn't have made two dozen of them. Time will tell.


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