Stan Brakhage: Metaphors on Vision
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Admission: As of December 6 this screening is *SOLD OUT.* No Tickets are available. Thanks to all who purchased tickets in advance.
Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of “Green”? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye? How aware of variations in heat waves can that eye be? Imagine a world alive with incomprehensible objects and shimmering with an endless variety of movement and innumerable gradations of color. Imagine a world before the “beginning was the word.”
— Stan Brakhage, Metaphors on Vision
First published in 1963, Stan Brakhage’s Metaphors on Vision remains one of the most challenging and inspiring artistic statements of avant-garde cinema by one of its most influential figures, a treatise on mythopoeia and the nature of visual experience written in a style as idiosyncratic as his art. Long out of print and highly collectible, Anthology Film Archives and Light Industry proudly announce the republication of a new definitive edition of Metaphors, featuring a full facsimile of the original 1963 design by George Maciunas and copious annotations by P. Adams Sitney (as well as the inclusion of Sitney’s 1998 introduction to the 1998 French translation). Light Industry’s Thomas Beard appears in person to present and discuss the book and to present Brakhage’s 1959 masterpiece Anticipation of the Night along with Brakhage’s The Dead (1960) and the camera-less classic Mothlight (1963).
He was the strongest and central force within a movement that was continuously required to explicate, theorize, and even justify its work, to make it plain. Metaphors on Vision takes its place with that small group of fundamental theoretical texts by filmmakers, those of Eisenstein, Epstein, Deren, Frampton, and Godard. Brakhage’s critique of the cinematic apparatus is extended, in Metaphors, to the optics and chemistry of its manufacture…
— Annette Michelson
Like a fire carrier, this newly published edition of Metaphors on Vision rekindles the very necessity of our filmmaking instincts. All that our youth so cherished is now once again ignited. Stan, the great cheerleader of the sublime, is again burning deep in our hearts and all that cinema might be has been set aflame by this stunning publication.
— Nathaniel Dorsky
Copies of Metaphors on Vision will be available at the screening and are also available from Cinematheque’s online bookstore.
pictured above: Stan Brakhage (editing Dog Star Man, 1964). Photo by Robert Benson.