Tribute and Benefit for Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) | Chicago Reader

Tribute and Benefit for Stan Brakhage (1933-2003)

Two months before Stan Brakhage died in March 2003, he asked that benefit screenings be held to help pay his medical bills. This program of five late works, four hand-painted directly onto the film stock, is introduced by a video in which he discusses each. In these films as in his others, Brakhage attempted to counter repressive social structures by defying predictability, often through surprising dramatic shifts in style or imagery that produce spectacularly beautiful results. While these last works are superficially more even and austere than many of his earlier films, in other ways they're harder to pin down. The longest, Panels for the Walls of Heaven (2002), combines superimpositions and changes in the degree of focus or speed of editing to produce an unsettling yet ecstatic freedom from materiality and conventional logic. 94 min.

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