June 10, 2003

By Brakhage -- An Anthology

Following closely on his passing in March, the Criterion Collection releases today a compilation DVD of some masterworks by avant garde visionary Stan Brakhage.

Good things about a Criterion release -- extra features. The two discs include an interview with the director, and an essay by Brakhage expert Fred Camper along with 26 films remastered. Bad thing about Criterion -- price. But if you're a Brakhage fan, CC supposes that wouldn't bother.

For those like CC who've seen a few select films, this seems like a good tutorial in the ways of this New York icon as a rental. It includes his hand drawn and hand painted works like Mothlight and also, some of CC's favorites his psychological black and whites such as Dog Star Man. Maybe it seems sort of wrong to objectify a dead artist, but hey, CC does it to the young Orson Welles (we're thinking Orson as the young Charles Foster Kane circa the tabloid newsman days. Yum)! Stan has the same appeal, clean-cut beatnik in white button down and skinny black tie. It is a look that works for CC. For those who've seen Window Water Baby Moving, in which Stan graphically films his wife giving birth, they might find it difficult to find a cute a man who'd do this to his poor birthing wife. But that's all still up for debate.

[Ed. note -- For now By Brakhage does not appear as a selection on Netflix, but should be coming soon. Until then, check out Kim's Video or your local indie acquivalent.]

Posted by karen at June 10, 2003 1:43 PM