Stan Brakhage

Arabic 1 (1980) 16mm, color, 3.5 min

Genre: Experimental

"This series of films, each extraordinarily unique from every other (except 0 + 10 going together), is inspired and governed by strata of the mind's moving-visual-thinking different from that of ROMAN NUMERALS series... or perhaps one should say that the ARABIC NUMERALS come to fruition thru some tree-of-nerves separate from that which gave birth to the ROMANS (as it is physiologically deceptive to think of thought as existing in 'layers'). The ARABICS range in length from approximately 5 min. to 35 min. and may be projected at 24 f. p. s. as well as 18 f. p. s. although the latter speed seems preferable for starts. I think each film's integrity of rhythm would allow viewing at a greater variety of speeds, were there 16mm projectors to permit that exercise. So far as I can tell, they defy verbal interpretation (even more than their ROMAN equivalents) and would, thus, seem to be closer to music than any previous work given me to do; but if that be true, it is (as composer James Tenney put it to me) that they relate to that relatively small area of musical composition which resists song and dance and exists more purely in terms of sound events in Time/Space. Finally, then, the inspiration of all those modern (and a few ancient) composers I've most loved since my teens overwhelms the easier, and comfortably lovely, habits of jig and do-re-mi- AND creates a visual correlative of music's eventuality--i. e. each ARABIC is formed by the intrinsic grammar of the most inner (perhaps pre-natal) structure of thought itself."

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

back to homepage