Stan Brakhage est né à Kansas City en 1933. D'abord musicien classique (chanteur et pianiste), il s'occupa aussi d'un petit théâtre dans le Colorado où il montait des pièces de Strindberg et Wedekind, tout en ayant commencé à faire des films dès l'âge de dix-neuf ans. A son arrivée à New York au milieu des années cinquante, Brakhage cotoya aussi bien John Cage et Edgard Varèse que Maya DEREN, Jonas MEKAS ou Kenneth Anger. C'est après une visite à Bruxelles en 1958 et la découverte des films de Peter KUBELKA et de Robert BREER que le cinéaste décida de montrer ses propres films en public. Jusqu'à sa mort en mars 2003, il réalisera plus de 200 films, presque toujours muets et abstraits.
‘Brakhage a réalisé un corpus d'oeuvres silencieuses à la beauté fragile qui répond directement à notre besoin d'un cinéma intense, tendre et fervent. Une exploration spirituelle où lumière, corps et pensée deviennent un’ (Nathaniel Dorsky).
‘Dans ‘Dog Star Man’, tout communique: hiver et printemps, cristaux de neige et globules sanguins, pénis et vulve, taches solaires et viscères palpitants, un corps de femme et la lune, les branches d'un arbre et un vitrail, des troncs d'arbres et des colonnes grecques’ (Dominique Noguez in ‘Une renaissance du cinéma: le cinéma underground américain’).
Stan BRAKHAGE is one of the most influential filmmakers in American avant-garde cinema, noted for his unflinching social commentaries and technical innovations. Over his nearly 40-year career, he has made over 200 films of varying length. He made his first film, Interim (1952) at age 18 after dropping out of college. Brakhage films seek to change the way we see. They encourage viewers to eschew traditional narrative structure in favor of pure visual perception that is not reliant on naming what is seen; rather his goal is to create a more visceral visual experience, for he believes that a "stream-of visual-consciousness could be nothing less than the pathway of the soul." To this end, his films are shot in highly sensual colors and utilize minimal soundtracks.
His work can be divided into distinct periods. His first short films explored the properties and possibilities of light. In many of his experimental ventures, Brakhage has forgone traditional cinematography in favor of working directly with the film stock itself. He has occasionally painted, inked, scratched and dyed images onto it; he has also tried pasting organic objects on the film. His most famous example is the 1963 short Mothlight in which he glued moth wings onto the stock. Some of his early films were based on his most intimate experiences that included making love to his new bride--depicted on negative film--in Wedlock House: An Intercourse (1959), and an attempt to bring his dead dog back to life with a camera in Sirius Remembered (1959). During the 1960s, Brakhage's iconoclastic views were celebrated for their poetry, but during the '70s, his focus changed to social issues and he alienated many supporters with such disturbing film series as the "Pittsburgh documents" in which he presented many gruesome views of inner city life with films such as Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971) which was shot in a morgue. He also continued with autobiographical material with the "Sincerity/Duplicity series. During the 1980s, Brakhage's focus again changed--this time he became intrigued with creating truly "abstract" films such as Arabics (1982) which consists of brilliant bursts of colored light which he claims, represent "envisioned music." In addition to filmmaking, Brakhage also wrote books about films and filmmaking and also served as a teacher. ~ Sandra Brennan
Année de naissance : 1933
Nationalité : Américaine