stan brakhage

Stan  Brakhage

Stan Brakhage (14 January 1933 - 9 March 2003) completed his first film, Interim, in 1952 at the age of nineteen, and as of 1998 had completed 300 personal, independent works ranging in length from 9 seconds to four hours and incorporating a wide variety of innovative and uniquely expressive forms and techniques. He wrote, in addition, several books, including Metaphors on Vision, A Moving Picture Giving and Taking Book, The Brakhage Lectures, Seen, Film Biographies, The Brakhage Scrapbook, Film at Wit's End, I...Sleeping and The Domain of Aura.

Brakhage lectured extensively over the past 35 years at universities, colleges, museums, galleries, film societies and film festivals throughout the world, his interests and areas of knowledge including the histories and aesthetics of music, painting, poetry and film. In addition to his public lecturing, Brakhage taught film history and aesthetics from 1969 through 1981 at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and since 1981 had been teaching in the Department of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was a Distinguished Professor.

Brakhage lived for many years with his growing family in the Colorado mountains near Boulder and during that time made films primarily inspired by and expressive of the environment in which he lived (though that source being "as diverse as to have included love-making, childbirth, children's play, mountains in snow-storm, potted plants, flames of heart and forest fires, trips to town and, even, journeys around the world"). Since 1986 Brakhage had been living in the town of Boulder, where he gave ongoing support to many younger filmmakers as well as continuing his own prolific output of work, creating work that was photographed, hand-painted on film and, most recently, films created by scratching and gouging the film emulsion itself.

Stan Brakhage received a number of honours and awards for his contributions to the arts, including: The Brussels World Fair Protest Award (1958), Film Culture's Fourth Independent Film Award (1962), a Rockefeller Fellowship (1967-1969), three Museum of Modern Art Retrospectives (1971, 1977 & 1996), a Brandeis Citation (1973), the Colorado Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities (1974), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1978), the Jimmy Fyan Morris Memorial Foundation Award (1979), a Telluride Film Festival Medallion (1981), an Honorary Doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute (1981), the Maya Deren Award for Independent Film and Video Artists (1986), the Denver International Film Festival Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Art of Film (1988), a University of Colorado Medal (1988), and the MacDowell Colony Medal (1990).

A selected filmography


1952 Interim

1954 Desistfilm

1955 The Wonder Ring

1955 Reflections on Black

1956 Flesh of Morning

1957 Daybreak and Whiteye

1958 Anticipation of the Night

1959 Cat's Cradle

1959 Sirius Remembered

1959 Window Water Baby Moving


1960 The Dead

1961 Thigh Line Lyre Triangular

1962 Blue Moses

1963 Mothlight

1964 Dog Star Man

1964 The Art of Vision

1965 Songs 1-22

1965 Pasht

1965 Bluewhite

1965 Blood's Tone

1965 Vein

1965 Fire of Waters

1966 23rd Psalm Branch

1967 Eye Myth

1968 Lovemaking

1968 The Horseman, The Woman and the Moth


1970 Scenes from Under Childhood

1970 The Weir-Falcon Saga

1970 The Machine of Eden

1970 Sexual Meditation:No.1:Motel

1971 The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes

1971 Angels

1971 Door

1971 Western History

1971 The Peaceable Kingdom

1974 The Stars are Beautiful

1974 Star Garden

1974 The Text of Light

1976 Airs

1976 Tragoedia

1977 The Governor


1980 Sincerity

1980 Songs 1-14

1981 The Garden of Earthly Delights

1981 Roman Numeral Series

1982 Unconscious London Strata

1982 Arabics

1983 Hell Spit Flexicon

1984 Tortured Dust

1984 Egyptian Series

1986 Jane; Purgation

1986 Night Music

1987 Hell Itself

1987 Existence is Song

1988 Rage Net

1988 I...Dreaming

1988 Marilyn's Window


1990 City Streaming

1991 Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse

1991 Agnus Dei Kinder Synapse

1992 Interpolations 1-V

1992 Boulder Blues and Pearls

1992 For Marilyn

1993 A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea

1996 Commingled Containers

1996 Beautiful Funerals

1996 The Fur of Home

1996 Blue Value

1996 Polite Madness

1997 Divertimento

1997 Self Song / Death Song

1997 The Cat of the Worm's Green Realm

1997 Yggdrasill Whose Roots Are Stars in the Human Mind

1998 (...) (ellipses) parts I, II, III

See also:

Stan Brakhage @ IMDB

Stan Brakhage @ Criterion

Underground Cinema: The 1960's