Interviews with/on Stan Brakhage


In a career spanning 50 years Stan Brakhage created more than 350 films. He began working with film as a Denver teenager and soon gained notoriety for his unique approach to recreating his visions in a style known as mytho-poetics. He was facinated by hypnogogic (closed eye) vision and experimented endlessly with focus, super-imposition, colour, movement and light in a relentless quest to communicate what he saw. While his later years were spent almost solely painting directly on to film it was with his earlier works such as Mothlight and his opus Dog Star Man where his true genius is evident. Film was Brakhage's passion and obsession and he loved to share his knowledge with anyone who showed an interest (his later years were spent lecturing at Boulder University in Colorado). His impact on film culture as a whole is vast, and his techniques have been appropriated by countless directors over the years.

The two interviews with Brakhage were conducted late 2000/early 2001 by phone. I was writing my thesis on his work and while the thesis itself was disappointing the interviews would remain a great source of interest to me over the coming years. Following my conversations with Brakhage himself I was also fortunate enough to be able to interview writer and film maker Fred Camper and writer P.Adams Sitney on Brakhage's work. I have had these interviews on cassette tapes knocking around my various homes over the last 6 years and feel itís time that they were shared. I hope they provide a little insight into the work and thoughts of a great man and artist.

Dominic Goodman