ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT
"Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception."
James Stanley Brakhage (January 14, 1933 – March 9, 2003), better known as Stan Brakhage, was an American non-narrative filmmaker. He is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th-century experimental film.
Over the course of five decades, Brakhage created a large and diverse body of work, exploring a variety of formats, approaches and techniques that included handheld camerawork, painting directly onto celluloid, fast cutting, in-camera editing, scratching on film, collage film and the use of multiple exposures. Interested in mythology and inspired by music, poetry, and visual phenomena, Brakhage sought to reveal the universal in the particular, exploring themes of birth, mortality, sexuality and innocence.
"The daylight shadow of a man in its movement evokes lights in the night. A rose bowl held in hand reflects both sun and moon like illumination. The opening of a doorway onto trees anticipates the twilight into the night. A child is born on the lawn, born of water with its promissory rainbow, and the wild rose. It becomes the moon and the source of all light. Lights of the night become young children playing a circular game. The moon moves over pillared temple to which all light return. There is seen the sleep of innocents in their animals dreams, becoming the amusement, their circular game, becoming the morning.
The trees change color and lose their leaves for the morn, they become the complexity of branches in which the shadow man hangs himself. ... a film in the first person. The protagonist, like the members of the audience, is a voyeur, and his eventual suicide is a result of his inability to participate in the untutored seeing experience of a child. ANTICIPATION consists of a flow of colors and shapes which constantly intrigues us by placing the unknown object next to the known in a significant relationship, by metamorphosing one visual statement into another. Whenever Brakhage shows a shot for a second time, it gains new meaning through its new context and in relation to the material that has passed during the interval."
- P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, 1943-2000
“Brakhage’s work offers an eloquent and deeply affecting alternative to consumer culture in the West. He abjures predigested emotions, predictable formulas, and “pretty pictures.” His films cannot be reduced to a simple summary or message, and each viewer’s experience of them will necessarily be somewhat different. The engaged viewer is removed from the state of mind in which to look at a scene or sight is to desire it, covet it, think you understand it, and wish to own it: instead, Brakhage asks for both much less and much more — he asks that you dance with it.”
- Fred Camper
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ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT
Director: Stan Brakhage
- 40 minutes
Booklet Text: Stan Brakhage, P. Adams Sitney, Scott MacDonald, Patrice Rollet, Scott Hammen (59 pages, in French and in English)
Published By: Re:Voir Video
Institutional Price: $300 (plus shipping)
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