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 climber, baby, blurred film stock, large snow flakes, and what may be microscopic details of matter are superimposed on each other, one dominating the frame briefly to be replaced by another. As the man falls in the snow and tries to regain his feet, the baby continues to appear, first with eyes closed. Alternately, images rush by - montages of paper cutouts and life under a microscope.Written by
Somehow the 2nd part of the Dog Star Man film "epic" is about a 6th of the length of the first part (5 minutes instead of 30), and yet it's a lot more powerful because of what Brakhage does in the condensed time. There's a little of the mountain climber at the start, and while he's down or not climbing we see a baby.
At first it's not opening its eyes, and then it is. Then there's a whole s***load of images the flash by with a quickness that is staggering. There's a snowflake. There's the red-membrane color that comes by again, and of course a lot of scratched film, and even times where the film comes apart with jagged edges separating the frames into three parts.
I don't know what to tell you if you came this far watching it, you either dig this kind of experimental filmmaking or you don't. I find it hypnotic and unlike anything else out there, but there's also an aspect that I have to be in a certain mood for it too. It's sitting down to engage your senses, not really your emotions exactly (though perhaps you'll feel for the baby in some abstract way that is just down to whether or not it'll open its eyes, which is perhaps conflict enough).
It may be pretentious to use this term but it really functions as a tone poem, giving you a series of things to look at that take you to a steady flow from one thing to the next (and in this case one is more like a hundred).
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