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  • By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

9 customer reviews

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By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Essential Brakhage: Selected Writings on Film-Making
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Editorial Reviews

In Criterion's first volume of the anthology By Brakhage, we brought twenty-six astonishing works by the avant-garde film pioneer Stan Brakhage to home video for the first time. Now, in this second installment, we are proud to present thirty more of Brakhage's innovative creations, from 1950s films to his final work, from 2003. Highlights of this collection include the antiwar film 23rd Psalm Branch; hand-painted films from the Persian Series; The Wonder Ring, made for a commission by Joseph Cornell; the autobiographical Scenes from Under Childhood, Section One; his only found-footage film, Murder Psalm; and much more. (Films date from 1954-2003)

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfers of all thirty films
  • Brakhage on Brakhage, a collection of video encounters with the filmmaker
  • For Stan, a short film by Marilyn Brakhage
  • Excerpts from a 1990 interview with Brakhage
  • Footage from Brakhage's salon at the University of Colorado
  • Audio recordings of two lectures by Brakhage
  • A booklet featuring film program notes by Marilyn Brakhage

  • Product Details

    • Directors: Stan Brakhage
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color
    • Language: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Number of discs: 3
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
    • Run Time: 687 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00393SFPM
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,254 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By takatuki334 on November 3, 2010
    Verified Purchase
    I give thanks from Japan.
    A picture of the blue-ray disc is very beautiful.
    When I watch a silent film of Mr. Brakhage, I get dark the illumination and get alone at midnight.
    This process make me a mysterious impression.
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    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Octave on October 24, 2011
    You can probably find ample good reviews of this set online, since this is an early Blu-Ray edition from the essential Criterion Collection, and is a lush and perfect enough package to have received awards. I purchase very few movies on disc, in spite of being a rabid cinephile; and this is one BR set that I bought _without hesitation_. Describing some of the films might sound like parody, insured boredom, or unbearable pretense, but I'm telling you....experiencing the films is something else. Theoretical baggage is posterior to the immediate, sensual experience of the films, as they unfold. Brakhage was a magician of some kind, a sui generis artist.

    Listening to music while watching these silent film-paintings (even the ones that are not hand painted, as are his later films) is probably fine, but I'd personally suggest trying (and trying....and trying...) them in silence, the way he intended them to be seen. The effect is, I think, an intensification of the experience, since (if I'm correct) SB intended the films to BE A FORM OF MUSIC, or at least to be very much like music, in its essence. I've done this with friends, sometimes several hours at a time, and the effect is not just in my own head; others concur, and even bring it up afterwards without me prompting them.

    The only other thing I might suggest is going out of your way to see these on celluloid if you can, while celluloid and film projectors still exist. And while these particular films still exist, _as_ films, which might not be for terribly much longer. It really is a different experience. I know, I know...isn't it always? But with many of these works, maybe all of them....it's really, really a different experience. It will shake you.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Last Person You'd Expect on March 8, 2014
    Verified Purchase
    I didn't want to bring down the rating of what probably deserves a full five stars, but these really weren't for me. I LOVE some of more obscure styles of Tarkovsky, Bela Tarr, Bergman, etc, but this is a step into experimentalism with cinemagraphic technique which, while intriguing in concept, I frankly find dull to watch. I've so far viewed less than 10% of the set. In what I've seen, there's no audio, no storylines, actors, etc, unless you permit an inordinate amount of subtlety into the definitions of these. There are of course images of real people and settings, but they're often densely obscured by photographic effects. Others may able to explain it better, but Brackhage seems mostly to be working with the physical film itself, with color, with light, and, very importantly, Time. While there's a lot of activity, very little ever happens to constitute a step in the narrative, and if it does it's very subtle. Like Tarkovsky or Tarr, the viewer's patience is stressed, but neither director ever ventured into these extremes.

    I've read a few of the reviews here, but I've yet to reach an understanding of what it is that makes Brakhage's work so attractive to some. This review is just a friendly warning that even if you've come to appreciate the weirdest that Criterion has to offer, you may not be ready for this one.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey A Rhodes on October 12, 2013
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    It is almost useless to see Brakhage on DVD-- even more so on Youtube. Brakhage, alone, could justify the invention of bluray and purchase of a screen and player. And then, eight hours!! What a huge collection, and amazing transfer and mastering. Really fantastic. I hope they do this for Paul Sharitz.
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    Stan Brakhage is one of cinema's most unique artists. His films have a (literally) hands-on and human approach that has simply remained unmatched. Highlights include Mothlight, Window Water Baby Moving (surely one of the most beautiful films ever made), Dog Star Man, 23rd Psalm Branch, Night Music and Chinese Series (Brakhage's final work).

    Criterion's massive blu-ray release of 56 Brakhage films allows his vision to shine even clearer than ever before. These films look magnificent. While some are limited by their sources, others (particularly his hand-painted films) look immaculate.

    The audio is a bit hard to judge, as most of these films completely lack a soundtrack. Those that do have sound come across decent enough, though they are, again, limited by their sources.

    The extras are plentiful and all worthwhile. The mulyi-part Brakhage on Brakhage series allows the filmmaker to freely discuss his creative process and influences, as well as share from interesting stories about fellow artists. Several lectures and interviews are also included, as well as For Stan, Marilyn Brakhage's short film dedicated to her husband.

    The real treat here are the audio remarks by Brakhage, which detail the making and inspiration behind each individual film. These are only included on the first volume of this collection, however.

    By Brakhage is one of Criterion's very finest releases, and thus, one of the greatest home video releases of all time.
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