Stan Brakhage

Director, Educator
Since 1952, and his first film, "Interim," through such landmark efforts as "Anticipation of the Night" (1958), Brakhage has been engaged in an effort to reshape our habits of seeing. In his book, "Metaphors on Vision," ... Read more »
Born: 01/14/1933 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Director (43)

A Child's Garden 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

The God of Day Had Gone Down Upon Him 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Commingled Containers 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

I... Dreaming 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Marilyn's Window 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Tortured Dust 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

Songs 1-14 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

23rd Psalm Branch 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Angels 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Aquarien 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Desistfilm 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Fire Of Waters 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

He Was Born, He Suffered, He Died 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Hymn To Her 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Loving 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Mothlight 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Pasht 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Prelude: Dog Star Man 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

SOL 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Sexual Mediatation: Hotel 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Sexual Mediatation: Office Suite 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Sexual Mediatation: Room With View 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Sexual Mediation: Open Field 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Skein 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Governor 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Horseman, The Woman, and The Moth 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Peaceable Kingdom 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Presence 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Riddle Of Lumen 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Wold-Shadow 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Two: Creely/Mcclure 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Tragoedia 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Star Garden 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

The Text of Light 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

Eyes 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Scenes From Under Childhood Section 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Weir-Falcon Saga 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Dog Star Man 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

Window Water Baby Moving 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Anticipation of the Night 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

The Dark Tower (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (14)

Tortured Dust 1983 (Movie)

(Producer)

Songs 1-14 1979 (Movie)

(Producer)

23rd Psalm Branch 1977 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Governor 1976 (Movie)

(Producer)

Tragoedia 1975 (Movie)

(Producer)

Star Garden 1973 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Text of Light 1973 (Movie)

(Producer)

Eyes 1970 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes 1970 (Movie)

(Producer)

Scenes From Under Childhood Section 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Weir-Falcon Saga 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

Dog Star Man 1963 (Movie)

(Producer)

Window Water Baby Moving 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

Anticipation of the Night 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (9)

Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Notes on Marie Menken 2007 (Movie)

(Actor)

In the Mirror of Maya Deren 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Keepers of the Frame 1999 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cannibal! The Musical 1998 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) (Actor)

Alive TV 1984 - 1996 (TV Show)

Narrator

Watunna 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Narrator

Invocation Maya Deren 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)
Editor (6)

Tortured Dust 1983 (Movie)

(Editor)

The Governor 1976 (Movie)

(Editor)

Scenes From Under Childhood Section 1969 (Movie)

(Editor)

The Weir-Falcon Saga 1969 (Movie)

(Editor)
Camera, Film, & Tape (4)

The God of Day Had Gone Down Upon Him 2004 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Tortured Dust 1983 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Governor 1976 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes 1970 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)
Writer (1)

Tortured Dust 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Other (8)

The Governor 1976 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Eyes 1970 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes 1970 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Scenes From Under Childhood Section 1969 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

The Weir-Falcon Saga 1969 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Dog Star Man 1963 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Window Water Baby Moving 1958 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Anticipation of the Night 1957 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Biography

Since 1952, and his first film, "Interim," through such landmark efforts as "Anticipation of the Night" (1958), Brakhage has been engaged in an effort to reshape our habits of seeing. In his book, "Metaphors on Vision," he wrote, "Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not repond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception..." Brakhage has made over 200 films, ranging in length from less than a minute to more than four hours. Though the style of his filmmaking has been consistent over four decades--shallow focus, a rich and sensual use of color, rhythmic cutting, little or no soundtrack--Brakhage has dealt with a variety of themes. In "Scenes From Under Childhood" (1967-70) he sought to reconstruct the primal adventure of perception; in "Dog Star Man" (1959-64) he created a visual symphony that compares the ascent of a mountain to our passage into life; in "Window Water Baby Moving" (1959) he produced a unique film on the birth of a child; and in "Mothlight" (1963) and a dozen other films made over the next 20-odd years, he pasted organic materials or painted, inked, or dyed images directly onto film stock, making streams of images without the use of a camera.

The origin of Brakhage's cinema lies in the non-narrative realms of music, painting and poetry. Oliver Messiaen's music was a formative influence on "Scenes From Under Childhood;" poet Robert Creeley has been a commentator for and colleague of Brakhage for decades. In the 1960s Brakhage was celebrated for his subjective vision and his nonconformism; in the 70s he alienated many friends with his "Pittsburgh documents," especially the harrowing "Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes" (1971), set in a morgue, as well as the sync-sound "The Stars Are Beautiful" (1974) and "The Governor" (1977), which tracked the chief executive of the State of Colorado. Simultaneously, Brakhage was producing the autobiographical "Sincerity/Duplicity" series (1973-80), a project which he may resume. In the 1980s he produced what he called his first "abstract" films: the "Roman Numeral Series" (1979-81), nine films titled only with roman numerals; and the "Arabics" (1980-82), 19 more works of "envisioned music"--which was as far as he would go in discussing the content of these brief, jewel-like bursts of light.

In 1988, commenting on his new film, "Marilyn's Window," Brakhage spoke of how a "stream-of-visual-consciousness could be nothing less than the pathway of the soul," suggesting that his films speak to human senses that are vital but dormant, eyes that can grasp more than we have imagined. Parallel to his filmmaking, Brakhage has been a teacher and writer whose books include "Metaphors on Vision" (1963) and "Brakhage Scrapbook" (1982); "Film Biographies" (1977) and "Film At Wit's End" (1989), collections of essays on other filmmakers; and "I...Sleeping," a dream journal from 1975, published in 1988.

Relationships

Marilyn Brakhage

Wife

Ludwig Brakhage

Father
adoptive father

Clara Brakhage

Mother
adoptive mother

Bearthm Brakhage

Child
mother, Mary Jane Collom

Neowyn Brakhage

Child
mother, Mary Jane Collom

Rarc Brakhage

Child
mother, Mary Jane Collom

Crystal Brakhage

Daughter
mother, Mary Jane Collom

Myrrena Brakhage

Daughter
mother, Mary Jane Collom

Mary Collom

Wife
married in December 1957 divorced in 1986

EDUCATION

Institute of Fine Arts

San Francisco , California
instructed by Minor White

during high school put on plays; decided to become a poet

Dartmouth College

Hanover , New Hampshire
entered as scholarship student; dropped out after three weeks due to nervous breakdown

Milestones

1981

Appointed professor of film at University of Colorado

1968

Began lecturing on film at Art Institute of Chicago

1957

Returned to Denver; began landmark film "Anticipation of the Night" (1958; 58 mins)

1954

After acquiring own 16mm camera and editing equipment moved back to Colorado; made several films including "Desistfilm" (1954)

1954

Moved to New York in the Fall; had first film screenings at Living Theater; received award from the Maya Deren Creative Film Foundation

1953

Moved to San Francisco; then to Central City, CO where he made second film and directed for the stage at the Yellow Door Theater Company; then back to San Francisco where he made the no longer extant "The Boy and the Sea" (2 mins)

1953

Upon dropping out of Dartmouth, co-directed first film, "Interim" (25 mins)

Moved to Los Angeles (after brief stay in Denver)

Adopted at the age of three weeks

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