rick silva on Tue, 11 Mar 2003 19:04:12 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Avant-Garde Filmmaker Stan Brakhage Dies At Age 70

i was lucky enough to take a class taught by stan brakhage my first
year at the university of colorado, i was so taken with his style of
teaching and love of art that i ended up signing up for a class with
professor brakhage each of my five years at c.u.  when he came into
class to lecture he'd be so into the film that was being shown that
day or what was happening in the nation or community that he would
talk for a half hour before taking off his coat and shoulder bag that
held his paints and rolls of film. he would have as much passion
lecturing about ken burns as he would about cassavetes or maya deren.
he would tell great stories about being a young artist in new york and
meeting jackson pollock or would recite long poems by gertrude stein
and others from memory. you would go into class and professor brakhage
would have james tenney or werner herzog as that day's visiting guest,
it was amazing. he would lecture about technique in camera placement,
movement, or set lighting with as much expertise as he would editing,
narrative structure, character development or acting. he loved all
film and would often say he watches more movies and goes to the
theater more than anyone he knows. he was a patriot and loved the
united states, he often became emotional about the horrors of  past
wars and slavery, and was critical of the lack of support for the arts
in the united states and warned us young artists of the difficult road
that lay ahead. he was inspiring everyday in his eloquent, powerful
words and with his beautiful, masterful work. he called himself a
documentary filmmaker, he documented the way we really see, with
rapid, shifty eye movements, dreamy peripherals, and color filled
hypnogogic closed eye vision.  when talking about art his voice would
raise up and he would echo the room with the phrase "art should aspire
to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" then
after a dramatic pause he would add "so help you god." 

 "he who binds to himself a joy
 does the winged life destroy
 but he who kisses the joy as it flies
 lives in eternity's sunrise"
 - w. blake
 rest in peace professor brakhage.
 rick silva

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