By Brakhage: an anthology

You’ll have to forgive me if I didn’t get through all four hours of the Brakhage anthology today.  That’s what I want to write about, but I’m going to have to shove most of my thoughts off till next week.

But I have to say, to watch film, scraped clean of it’s perfection, there’s something comforting in that.  When, for example, the entire plane tilts in a shot, you’re reminded of the physicality of it, the materials behind the image.  The way light bends and shakes and timing is imprecise.  I don’t really know how to express that, but it triggers something inside my brain.

I’ve gotten really sick of the internet lately and I almost feel like I want to go home.  Not home to any place but home in my brain.  It reminds me of that.  It’s like the texture of honey, the glob that gets stuck in the bowl-shaped recess at the back of the roof of your mouth (go ahead, fill it with your tongue), and is so sweet and cool.

I may be one of the last batches of people whose parents shot home videos on Super8.  I don’t know.  Right around the early 90’s, VHS camcorders started getting popular, so once our camera broke and the bulb flashed out on the projector, that was it.

So what is the comfort?  Maybe it’s association.  Seems to me like there’s a qualitative difference between VHS and 8mm, but this might not be objective.  It certainly didn’t stop people from switching.

Anyway, I like Brakhage because of the comfort.  Because it’s a relief to have a break from being told things.  It’s restful to my brain, especially those long periods of darkness and silence with slips of white light passing over door frames and candles.  It may be “avant-garde” but it doesn’t feel abstracted, it feels more direct.  The subtext is the text; you don’t have to guess at it.  Relationships like these are one of the more interesting conversations about reader-creator dynamics, I think.

Watching this anthology has so far given me some new perspective, as well.  Most of what I knew about Stan Brakhage involved bleach and paint and glued moth wings.  There are a lot of other things that involve people and they are, I dare say, downright accessible.

Desistfilm is a neat one.


And this is cool ALWAYS.


In short, as I’m watching this anthology and listening to the audio commentary, I feel like I’m drinking some cocoa and sitting on the rug of a den filled with friendly professors wearing sweater-vests.

Scratch Pad

(feel free, by the way, to ask about anything on the Scratch Pad of stuff I watched/read this week.  I may not post on everything, but I sure have opinions on everything.)

Open Letter from a Millennial: Quit Telling Us We’re Not Special – This was an interesting blog post, written in response to a fresh batch of Millennial-bashing articles, winding their way merrily through the halls of armchair-sociology.  I wrote a post myself, as a sort of catharsis.  Then I deleted the draft without posting, because honestly, I’m tired of hearing myself object.  Like 95% of the people on this planet, I’m just doing the best I can with what I know at the time.  Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are demanding some sort of apology from me, and they’re not going to get one.  I’m just going to tune them out, because all that caterwauling is distracting.

Still Life with Woodpecker – Tom Robbins (continuing)
Ex Machina Issue #40 – Featuring and Created by Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris
Chamber (X-Men Icons)
The Hood (Blood From Stones)
Arrested Development (continuing) – Mitchell Hurwitz

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