6.5/10
846
7 user 2 critic
A lateral descent through the midnight blues and blacks of ice and the refracted colors from absorbed oils.

Director:

Stan Brakhage
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Storyline

A lateral descent through the midnight blues and blacks of ice and the refracted colors from absorbed oils.

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Genres:

Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

11 October 2003 (Denmark) See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Inspired by Stan Brakhage's fall on a patch of black ice that resulted in his developing and having to be operated on for cataracts in both eyes. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shards of Coloured Fear
4 October 2003 | by SqurpleboySee all my reviews

Another one of Stan Brakhage's many mesmerizing hand-painted short films, BLACK ICE draws the viewer down into a cacophony of both beauty and horror.

Inspired by a bad fall on a patch of black ice (that ultimately resulted in Brakhage's need for eye surgery), the filmmaker gives us something of a dreamlike descent through the fear and refractions of closed-eye vision regarding such an event. With one layer of rapidly cascading shards of colour and a second layer of similar abstract pieces slowly zooming, scuttling and dissolving towards the viewer out of the dark void of utter blackness, it does not become hard to feel as if one is almost being sucked down to some terrible peril as well. The wonderful use of counter-pacing between the layers -- which must be largely credited to collaborator and optical printer Sam Bush, also -- and the more abundant use of deep black space to sharpen the bursts of rich colour are what really helps define BLACK ICE as an exquisite experimental piece, even amongst the wealth of Brakhage's other painted-light pieces. The result is both a stunning visual and metaphysical achievement of depth on screen. And beautifully urgent, as well.

8/10. A concisely contrived "accident" of colour and lost light.


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