Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stan Brakhage, Mothlight

On November 21, 1997 I programmed a screening of silent, hand made films by Stan Brakhage to show at the Saskatchewan Filmpool in Regina. I just came across the program notes I wrote for the show and surprised myself with the central idea regarding "Mothlight" (one of my ten favorite films of all time). Here is what I said:

Mothlight (1963, 4 minutes)
This is one of Brakhage’s older, and best known films. It is also one of my favourites. It is composed of hundreds of moth wings, collected from the inside of lamps and windows. Brakhage painstakingly collected them up, pressing them together between two layers of tape. The strip of tape then became the film as he had it run through a film printer. The process gnarled the original beyond further use. Luckily none was needed. The resulting film is a magnificent view of moths dancing. In his catalogues, Brakhage calls it “What a moth might see from birth to death if black were white and white were black”. However, I suggest it might be described as what a light bulb might see, hanging on the porch all night, the object of this nocturnal insect’s desire – a tragic love story.

1 comment:

Gerald Saul said...

I have found a couple of online quotations of this blog entry without citations. One is from Antonia Dias Leite at http://antoniadiasleite.com/mildredsfarewell.pdf
and the other is from Julie Marsh at http://juliemarsh.blogspot.ca/

I love the idea of being quoted but just think it rude to not be cited when someone does it.