Dog Star Man | Chicago Reader

Dog Star Man

When it was first shown back in the mid-60s, this experimental feature with a prelude and four sections was widely regarded as Stan Brakhage's magnum opus, although it has surely been superseded by many major works since then. Following a cycle of seasons as well as the stretch of a single day as a man slowly makes his way up a mountain, the film features multiple superimpositions and includes traces of splice marks, painting, and scratches on the film emulsion as some of its densely woven textures. Mythological, cosmological, and physiological, like much of Brakhage's work during this period, it can be seen as one of the most ambitious lyrical films ever made—and also one of the most pretentious, for those who are inclined to view Brakhage's macho poetics as a trifle self-regarding. Whatever one thinks, and however much the film may seem dated now in relation to Brakhage's subsequent output, it is an achievement to be reckoned with. 79 min.

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