B Series, The
- Stan Brakhage |
- 1995 |
- 14 minutes |
- COLOR |
Rental Format(s): 16mm
This film is a series of five little hand-painted and elaborately step-printed sections which are individually titled but so inter-related I've decided they should always be shown in this order together, but each such a distinction of the essentially un-nameable subject matter they variously facet that they should retain the character of individual pieces within their shared context ... a context I've attempted to represent by a small "b" for my name "Brakhage."
The film begins with Old Testament, a two-and-a-half minute historical section titled RETROSPECT: THE PASSOVER and its evolution of forms is meant to suggest the Biblical story from which the Jewish religious rituals evolve - an essentially blue-green phosphoressence of forms finally in flight through, yes, parted seas of paint and "armies of the night," as one might put it.
BLUE BLACK: INTROSPECTION is, then, the painted meditation upon the previous section - its forms rhythmically interspersed with some stately pauses of solid thoughtful darkness, like jewels of idea embedded in black velvet. It is about two minutes in length. It begins with suggestions of "landscape."
The three-and-a-half minute BLOOD DRAMA section pulses with red, involves glyphic stitches of red amidst its phosphors of blue-greens, all forms tending to take thought-forms of the previous section through to recognition of internal body, the bloody meat of being human.
The fourth section I AM AFRAID: AND THIS IS MY FEAR is a direct reaction to the third section. The "spark" of a "sky-scape" leads to the subsequent evolution of the same forms in "mental flight," as it were. It is approximately three minutes.
The fifth section is dedicated to Gregory Markopoulos.
The fifth, and final section is the culmination of all previous visuals, the (by now) very recognizable forms of the original story, of inward speculation on narrative, of the disruption in a sense of a spill, or spell, of blood, the non-narrative thought-flight from all this, now (in Finale) becomes an almost unbearable complexity of forms taking on a beseeming "weight" or thickening of those inter-woven shapes. It is an appropriately titled three minute section called SORROWING.
This work was complexly printed off strips of film which were primarily painted in order to achieve negative color.