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Avant-Garde Cinema (October 28)

Stan Brakhage, Anticipation of the Night, 1958 (41 min)

It was quite difficult to make out what the various scenes in this rather lengthy film were showing.  The images varied from looking like the moon to a closeup of ice cream, which I’m assuming was just the sandy ground. I tried to analyze the film based on simplistic terms, but nothing really stuck or came to mind. This film appeared to be very random if anything.

Reflections on Black. 1955 (10 min)

Well, the woman in this film definitely broke one too many bowls. The humming noise we hear near the ending of the film was daunting. I was surprised by the use of the special effects used on the eyes on the men. It reminded me of chalk drawing on a chalk board and I kept trying to pinpoint it’s significance. All that I could really observe was that there were unhappy couples that kept imaging how their unhappy relationship would be if they were actually happy. I’m also assuming that the chalk eyes on the men signaled their anger or demonic side, because they were hurt by their significant other.

Mothlight. 1963 (3 min)

The various scenes in “Mothlight” reminded me of observing a disassembled moth through a microscope. Since the scenes were shown at such a rapid pace, they appeared to be a variety of different images or patterns. These new images and patterns also reminded me of other forms of wildlife. I saw glimpses of leaves, branches, twigs, and wood. It was a very simple film, but truly a unique interpretation of a moth under the special microscopic light, which revealed other aspects of it’s imagery.

Black Ice. 1994 (2 min)

Honestly, “Black Ice” was a really cool film. It was very simple, but so pretty to look at. I enjoyed the wide array of colors used. At times, the shapes of some of the colored imagery did remind of the way ice can appear if you look at it closely. Sometimes go about things the simple way allows the creator of the film and the audience to meet at a happy mediu, in terms of observing and analyzing avante-garde cinema. This is probably my favorite film to date. 

Robert Bree, A Man And His Dog Out For Air, 1957 (2 min)

First of all, the audio in this film reminded me of a rather wacky birdcall. Apart from that, I can only remember the actual man walking appearing at the end of the film. The images were rather repetitive, so I declined the idea of them eventually leading up to something meaningful. If anything, the man walking the dog appeared randomly. The images were interesting, but as I said before, they were repetitive and kind of misleading.

Jeff Keen, White Lite.  1968: 3 min

The reversed lighting used in this film was so creepy. It was almost as though everything was present, not exactly living, without a soul. Even inanimate objects, such a table or the stuffed rat still possess a quality in certain lighting that gives them a presence or a soul. It was unique how the “white light” could change that aspect so quickly.


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