Sound Brakhage | Chicago Reader

Sound Brakhage

“I'm not a very good sound filmmaker,” Stan Brakhage once said, explaining why he made mostly silent films, but his few films with sound are for the most part great, distinguished by their original uses of the aural. Four of the five on this program feature soundtracks by Brakhage's high school friend James Tenney, who recently died; one of the best, . . . Reel 5 (1998), pairs his sparse, pointillist music with deceptively similar abstract imagery consisting of jagged shapes on plain backgrounds. What's key is the way image and sound seem to float in separate spaces, as if in parallel worlds. They collide, aggressively, in Christ Mass Sex Dance (1991), and the chaotic sound in the early Desistfilm (1954) is appropriate to its subjective views of a drunken party. 70 min.

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