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Study in Color and Black and White (1993)

| Short
An experimental short film by Stan Brakhage in which light, black and white, and color images are contrasted.


Stan Brakhage




An experimental short film by Stan Brakhage in which light, black and white, and color images are contrasted.

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This film is included on "By Brakhage: an Anthology", which is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #184. See more »

User Reviews

White scratch patterns
12 February 2010 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

'Study in Color and Black and White (1993)' would be my fourteenth Stan Brakhage film to date, and I didn't particularly get anything out of it. In my experience, Brakhage was at his strongest in the 1950s and 60s, when he was using cameras to expose Man as an organism, as in 'Window Water Baby Moving (1959)' and 'Cat's Cradle (1959).' By the 1990s, he had basically abandoned live-action photography (with some notable exceptions, like 'Commingled Containers (1997)'), and his cinematic work became, if possible, even more abstract and inaccessible. So abstract, in fact, that I struggle to find a reason for making something like 'Study in Color and Black and White.' Are Brakhage's motives purely aesthetic? The director himself wrote of this film: "The title is almost the whole of any possible description of this hand-painted and photographically step-printed film, which exhibits variably shaped small areas of color (in a dark field) that explode into full frames of textured color interwoven with white scratch patterns that create a considerable sense of interior depth and three-dimensional movement." I will admit that it was vaguely pleasing to witness a previously-black screen suddenly "explode" with colour, but the film otherwise inspired very little in me. Another abstract, but painless, oddity from Stan Brakhage.

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1.37 : 1
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