Anthology Film Archives


March 4 – March 5

Stan Brakhage’s body of work encompasses more than 350 films – the majority of which are purposefully and powerfully silent. Though Brakhage considered his films “visual music,” and was greatly inspired by musicians – notably Bach, John Cage, Olivier Messiaen, Carl Ruggles, James Tenney, and Edgard Varèse – his filmography includes fewer than 30 sound works. While a fair amount of his sound films are shown in our Essential Cinema repertory cycle, this series highlights several of his seldom-seen works created in collaboration with musicians.

The first program showcases PASSAGE THROUGH: A RITUAL, an unexpected partnership with Fluxus composer Philip Corner. After seeing Brakhage’s THE RIDDLE OF LUMEN seventeen years after its completion, Corner composed a piece in tribute to the film and sent a tape to Brakhage, who in turn was inspired to set a film to the music. The result is one of Brakhage’s few films to be cut to a pre-existing soundtrack, and one of his most mysterious works.

Brakhage’s FAUST series was made in collaboration with Boulder-based musicians Rick Corrigan and Joel Haertling, of the experimental group Architect’s Office, from a script Brakhage began working on in the 1950s. We’ll present the complete series as one program with an intermission.

Programmed by Ryan Marino and Ava Tews. Special thanks to Marilyn Brakhage, Fred Camper, Philip Corner, and the Academy Film Archive.

All film descriptions by Stan Brakhage.

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