Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#199: Dog Star Man

Directed by: STAN BRAKHAGE
1964, TSPDT Rank #927

Before watching Dog Star Man, you should understand that Brakhage was interesting in creating film as an art form, not as a form of entertainment, as he specifies on the Criterion DVD interview. Also be aware that it is completely silent with no music or sound of any kind. Some people suggest watching the film with a musical accompaniment of your choice, but I watched it without sound and feel that it may lose some of its power if you do this. I felt a strong visual rhythm while watching it. It's spread over five parts, and you'll need to watch all five. It is, at the base of it all, about a man and his dog attempting to climb a mountain. However it seems to cover the areas of birth, life, death, rebirth, and stellar things outside of our planet. This is a film with hard work written all over it - literally in a sense, since Brakhage actually scratched onto the film surface in some parts. I find Dog Star Man to be a remarkable and psychedelic experience - one with many facets that I'm sure I didn't catch on the first viewing. I'll definitely be watching it again sometime in the future.

(Rating: 8/10)

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