Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I just knew that Stan Brakhage wanted to commit suicide when he was 26 and also wanted to make a film out of his own suicide!!!!!!.

An excerpt from an interview with Stan Brakhage by P. Adams Sitney in 1963, taken from the book FILM CULTURE READER:

Brakhage: ...Certainly by the age of 26, I was getting too old to still be alive and around and fulfilling the myth of myself. ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT was the vehicle out.

Sitney: Do you mean you were actually going to kill yourself at the completion of the film?

Brakhage: I didn't think this through consciously. Occurrences that happened afterwards made it clear that's what I'd intended. For months, I'd been getting more and more ill with neurotic diseases, some of them, like asthma, which had a long history in my life, and others that were completely new. At that time the fourth and fifth fingers of my left hand, that is the marriage and death fingers, were completely crippled with arthritis; I couldn't move them, I was practically on a cane (at the age of 26, mind), I was defeated in all searches of love, trying to reach out of myself, except in relation to film.
On the other had, I was saying, "When I come to the hanged man sequence, I'll shoot it spontaneously. I will go out and put a rope around my neck and photograph as the feelings arrive and just attach that section to the end of the film." I didn't really become aware of what I had intended until months after our marriage.
A month after we were married, I was out on the front lawn with Jane, whom I wasn't yet seeing deeply beyond sex desire, and I was putting a rope around my neck and standing on a kitchen chair in a suburb of Denver with all the neighbors gathering on porches to wonder what that madman was up to now.
So I was on a chair with rope around neck photographing and, then, fortunately a friend dropped by and was also watching the process, and I handed the camera to Jane and said, "Well, that's that," meaning I'm finished, and without realizing or remembering that the rope was around my neck, stepped off the chair and swung in midair for a few seconds, was grabbed by the friend, put back up on the chair, and suddenly had the full realization of what had been intended. I was sure that I had intended for months to finish the editing of ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT up to that point, go out into the yard, climb up on a chair, camera in hand, jump off the chair, and while hanging run out as much film as I could, leaving a note saying, "Attach this to the end of ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT."

Fortunately, Brakhage didn't commit suicide at that time, and went on making about 355 films after that.


filmvirus said...

บังเอิญพี่เพิ่งหยิบเล่มนี้มาอ่านเมื่อสองวันก่อน สะดุดกับย่อหน้านี้มาก ไม่เคยอ่านเจอเลย

จากหนังสือ Film Culture Reader
Edited by P. Adams Sitney

The first virtue of Film Experimentalists is the state known as radical, which only means, aesthetically speaking, being near the root of the matter, being close enough to understand and maneuver the root of the matter. In the very simplest sense, after certain technical rules of mechanics are grasped, all the Film Experimentalist does is translate his feeling into images as though words did not exist. This is what he must want to do, must aim at doing, must set up as ideal. Here the procedural question of the film script necessarily arises. There may be a shooting script – even a shooting script with poetic qualities such as Eisenstein wrote – but unless its words can be successfully translated into optical terms, it had better not exist at all.

From A Preface to the Problems of the Experimental Film (page 44)
By Parker Tyler

celinejulie said...

ช่วงนี้ถ้ามีเวลาว่างจิตรก็มักจะหยิบหนังสือเล่มนี้มาอ่านเป็นระยะๆ รู้สึกชอบความกระตือรือร้นของ P. Adams Sitney ที่มีต่อหนังทดลอง จิตรรู้สึกว่าเขาคงมีความสุขมากๆกับการดูหนังทดลอง ถึงได้เขียนถึงหนังทดลองอย่างจริงจังขนาดนั้น