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Dog Star Man
Brakhage’s deepest dive into a mythopoetic universe and a central film in his oeuvre, Dog Star Man rivals Kubrick’s 2001 as the ultimate ’60s head trip. Employing an array of superimpositions and visual effects, Brakhage takes a simple visual subject — a man climbing a mountain — and creates a psychedelic cosmology that places that man in communion with the stars.
The imagery is so dense that Brakhage later extended the four layers of superimposition into a version of the film that lasted four-and-a-half hours (The Art of Vision), and one could even say that all the films he made in the four decades after Dog Star Man were expansions on the themes he so forcefully articulates here: the human relationship to time, nature and the cosmos, and the way in which our inner space refracts and reflects the outer world.