Sunday, March 21, 2010

#196: Mothlight

Directed by: STAN BRAKHAGE
1963, TSPDT Rank #981

This is the shortest film on the list, and it's very amazing - as in, absolutely mind-blowing. Let me preface this by saying that I have never seen a thing by Brakhage and was planning to rent the Criterion DVD set at some point here (probably still will, for Dog Star Man primarily) but watched this when I found it on YouTube. And I know many are opposed to this film and others of Brakhage's and find them frustrating and pointless, so if you read this and you're one of those people please note - I'm not just pulling some pretentious nonsense out of thin air, and I actually have a few thoughts on this film. Technically speaking, it's a feat of wonder; produced using wings of dead moths and various foliage pasted between two strips of tape. But it's what the film means metaphorically that floored me. Brakhage took a bunch of dead material from nature and brought it to life by way of film - bright, violent, flashing light in our face - a trip through life and death made interchangeable - and because of this is truly more than the sum of its parts.

I also realize that YouTube is not a good way to watch Brakhage. It's meant to be viewed in a cinema, and less preferable then that but still a step up from the former is DVD (soon to be Blu-ray). But even in the manner I viewed, it still feels one galvanizing film. Here's the You-tube link for anyone who wants to see if I may have a few valid points. This is an eye-opener, expanding the reach of my film appreciation.

(Rating: 10/10)

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