The Films of James Broughton
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For the first time on DVD, the best films of avant-garde pioneer James Broughton have been assembled for this magnificent three-disc set. A poet, author, and filmmaker, Broughton, who was christened the "great and wise master of the American avant-garde" by critic Amos Vogel, attempted to use cinema as kind of poetic statement. He took as his subject matter love, sex, the human body, and dream imagery, rendered with a playful, whimsical, and sometimes erotic touch. Featuring such seminal titles as MOTHERS DAY (1948), DREAMWOOD (1972), and TESTAMENT(1974), this three-disc set organizes 17 of Broughtons films into three distinct eras to capture the breadth and evolution of his themes and subject matter. Disc 1: THE EARLY YEARS Disc 1: THE EARLY YEARSBroughtons first films focused on the themes of romantic love and human behavior. A highlight in this collection includes THE PLEASURE GARDEN, which was named Best Fantastic-Poetic Film at the Cannes Film Festival. This group of black and white shorts include: MOTHERS DAY(1948), LOONY TOM (1951), FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON (1951), and THE PLEASURE GARDEN (1953). Disc 2: A MIDDLE PERIOD During the 1960s and 1970s, Broughtons imagery became more erotic while his subject matter explored the landscape of dream and the mysteries of Zen poetry. A highlight in this collection is TESTAMENT, a self-portrait that depicts Broughtons life as a pageant of personal imagery. This group of color films include: THE BED (1968), THE GOLDEN POSITIONS(1970), This Is It (1971), DREAMWOOD (1972), HIGH KUKUS (1973), TESTAMENT (1974), THE WATER CIRCLE (1975), and EROGENY.Disc 3: FINALE: THE FILMS WITH JOEL SINGER In the last era of his life and career, Broughton teamed with partner Joel Singer to produce a series of films on the nature of intimacy and personal relationships. Films include: SONGS OF THE GODBOY (1977), HERMES BIRD (1979), THE GARDENER OF EDEN (1981), DEVOTIONS (1983), and SCATTERED REMAINS (1988), a portrait of Broughton by Singer in which the artist acts out his poetry.
- 17 films on three discs
- Cine-Notes Booklet featuring Broughtons poetry and commentaries on his films
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Top customer reviews
The trajectory of Broughton's career is the trajectory of his own burgeoning sensuality. Though he seems to have practiced a kind of pan sexuality for much of his life (he had one child with film critic Pauline Kael and another with his wife, Stan Brakhage filmed the wedding) from the mid-seventies onward he made films about male-male culture, relationships, and sensuality. These later films are perhaps more personal (and more graphic) but as a result less accessible to some viewers.