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BRAKHAGE

Canada, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Documentaries)

Director: Jim Shedden

Stan Brakhage is considered a living legend and one of the most important avant-garde filmmakers. Since 1952 Brakhage has created over 300 films, constantly and consistently redefining Ihe shape of film art. Jim Shedden's documentary explores the depth and breadth of Brakhage's genius; the exquisite splendour, sensuality and intimacy of his films; his magic personal charm; his aesthetic fellow travellers and the influence his work has had on subsequent generations of filmmakers.

While touching on significanl moments in Brakhage's biography, the documentary celebrates his vision and explores the exlraordinary artistic possibilities of cinema he has pursued. Brakhage combines excerpts from a multitude of Stan's films from the mid-50s to the present day which illustrate the developmenf of his approach both visually and conceptually.

Brakhage's work is also placed in creative and historical context with the incorporation of segments from the work of his peers together wilh interviews with family, friends, colleagues and contemporaries including George Kuchar, Jonas Mekas, Willie Varela and Bruce Elder.

"When we set out to make Brakhage our ambition was to create a portrait of an artist. In the editing process we discovered that it was impossible to avoid weaving three storylines together: the story of avant-garde cinema; the story of Brakhage the artist and his personal biography."—Jim Shedden

Shedden's portrait is one of intense fascination, of an artist who is continually re-inventing himself, creating personal cinema when not also trying to re-invent the way we see film altogether.

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