Stan Brakhage’s abandonment of linear narrative and the traditional use of characters has made him one of the mostchallenging and rewarding experimental filmmakers. Not only do Brakhage’s films ultimately change the way we look at filmic images but they also transform the way we see. Chicago was recently the beneficiary of a mini-Brakhage festival and the remarkable new issue of the Chicago Review, dedicated to his work, served as an essential companion. As it turns out, Brakhage’s visual gift and ambitions are matched by his thought-provoking writingson film and poetry. This issue includes his writings on aesthetics, film technique, and an account of a comical meeting with Andrei Tarkovsky. Brakhage’s interest in American experimental poetry (of the Pound/Olson/Stein variety) led him to a series of correspondence with such poets as Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, and Ronald Johnson. In his letters, Brakhage’s ebullient personality shines through – he is chatty, insightful and eager to discuss personal plans, poetry, or his own cinematic aesthetics. Stan Brakhage Correspondences includes essays from leading Brakhage scholars, covering over four decades of his work and focusing on his overall project and individual films. The critical essays perfectly complement Brakhage’s own writings and present a range of new perspectives on his cinematic ambitions and accomplishments. Not to be missed.
—Seminary Coop‘s The Front Table