Stan Brakhage

Jesus Trilogy and Coda, The (2001) 16mm, color, 20 min

Genre: Experimental

1) In Jesus Name presents an almost continues fluttering movement midst the complexity of multiple small shapes in mostly autumnal colors, like unto a wind moving through fall leaves. Embedded in this skein (almost as if branches of this scene) are the dark lines ephemerally (almost invisibly) composing the conventional face of Christ. 2) The Baby Jesus begins with pearl-pinks and gold-flecked shapes midst 'garden greens.' It proceeds to contrasting desert scenery -- slashes of sand-yellow under black 'sky', with ephemeral suggestions of animal locomotion. Then there's some sense of darkened interior, the colors of straw and wood, slight furtive hints of beast features, hooded 'faces' and swaddling folds. Rolling hills, and a starred 'night sky' with flecks of herded white, then gathering of colors as of collected people shapes. After intervening black, the beseeming rocky side of a hill increasingly flecked with blood red. The desert-likeness comes again with, again, animal locomotion. Mills, mottles white, like snow, give way finally to peacefully wood-toned enclosures. 3) Jesus Wept utilizes a variety of shapes and colors so fretted and interlocked with darkness as to create the sense of glamorous terror within which palpable shapes of 'tears' appear and weave a counterbalance of sorrowful calm. Because these 'tears' are as if in bas-relief (side and front lit) textured and altogether of such a visual solidity, they form and aesthetic bulwark against the (back lit) fret forms. 4) Coda: Christ on Cross contains the most easily nameable of all the shapes in this trilogy: it is, thus an aesthetic 'summing up' with full emphasis upon the crucifixion which is visible again and again as a mass of twisting lines and tortured forms, flecked with vermilion blood likeness. The intervening scenes are stark, dark dramatics, reactive to the recurring cross. The conventional face of Jesus is occasionally visible as lines that are consonant with the, at time, almost renaissance draftsmanship of these scenes. The attempt is to sum-up Death as iconic triumph in relation to the three previous films.

Rental: $75.00
16mm Rental: $75.00

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