Watch: Stan Brakhage at Work on Very and Night Mulch
If nothing else, I owe Stan Brakhage for my irrational fear of childbirth ever since I was forced to sit through a collegiate projection of Window Water Baby Moving. Often polarizing for those new to the medium, it’s impossible to deny Brakhage’s ingenuity in his tactile use of film. His oeuvre seems to erase the boundary between method and the means by which to achieve it, which becomes all the more peculiar once you seem him in action. Phil Solomon, a fellow experimental filmmaker and collaborator, has uploaded a handful of videos of Brakhage, in the classroom and out, which The Seventh Art says will serve as the basis of a long-term project.
My favorite of the bunch is this ten minute clip of Brakhage, holed up in the booth of a downtown Boulder diner, his paints and film unfurling over the covered tabletop. He casually reworks a 35 mm trailer for the film Quills, creating what would be his 2001 shorts Very and Night Mulch, which I sadly cannot find online. Throughout the process, he convivially chats with Solomon and their friend Abraham Ravett, running the gamut from the importance of Jews in the arts to his own process.