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Brakhage: The Painted Films
From early in his career Brakhage was interested not only in filming images, but also in applying elements to the actual film itself — whether adhering objects onto the film surface (as in Mothlight), scratching and painting directly onto the emulsion, or applying paint to clear leader and re-photographing the results to create animated action paintings. For Brakhage, painting on film was a way to illustrate one of his central concepts: what he called "hypnagogic vision," the patterns of colour we "see" when our eyelids are closed and rubbed by our fingers, which, to Brakhage, represented the primordial, eternally changing matter of life itself. Inspired equally by expressionist painting and baroque music, Brakhage's painted films comprise a lush, thoroughly unique genre all their own.