Stan Brakhage, Eye Myth

Jim Leftwich
May 2017

Stan Brakhage, Eye Myth (1967), click to watch video

Nine seconds, each frame painted, a year in the making, so much medium curse and oceanic playback, causal marks itemize entoptic phosphenes, intimations of letting go the ghost fade and carom carefully dense in needed choice, the lifeboats tilt and the conic sections bloom. Precise possibilities express clear longing, no longer strutting on the stage but rather caged in a flickering frame. It is the shortest film he made. The only given is you. The eye is of course the I, which is of course the you, the eye of the viewer being the only I. Successive in its single pace, it asks us repeatedly to follow, for the hallowed ground is fallow and the shallow earth is hollow. That is, the shadow of the hallowed earth is fallow, a shadow swallowed in a hollow birth. Several severe knots dogmatically total. What we choose occurs, imbued with imbricate contiguities, discontinuous and subservient to the implied meaning on which it relies. Myth is a mechanism of definitive semblance, externally imposed. A glimpse of the glue, then, walking from frame to frame, alongside the crosstown commotion immersed in aesthetic narrative, while Sisyphus in another film climbs towards his tree (in the snow) (with his dog), his wife and kids naked at home in Colorado… Eye Myth was made 50 years ago. Reading and collapse coils, slowing the function taken for granted. Defamiliarization estranges the technique of content. The horse throughout is an example of what we want: difficult tooth than the perceptible poetic. Sample the examples. Device causing dawn. Therefore the audience in order is a story. We must understand that language never said it was realistic. Difficulty invented becoming. The well-known may be enhanced by a heroic dose of the unfamiliar. T​his ​world escapes ​the ​world. Recombinative comparative proponents flee the purpose of jolting experience is obscure component density indecently observed. Unfortunately, apathy exudes modernity. By 1967, something was in the air, the smell of burning draft cards in the morning, escape routes marked in pencil on maps of southern Canada.

Depths of this useless punching bag, obsessed with love in Hell, moist tape and minute insect glue, the vanguard neither important nor beside itself. Don’t use power tools in the house. Sawdust is bad for the lungs. That would require texture and visual patience. One night our annihilation stems from gathering the poetries together. A family of self-divided moths obscured by angst and litmus. Arrangement into patterns of perspective in the process. Found components contemplating ephemeral rejection. No longer antennae and love among our irresistible instincts, time passes slowly out here in the mountains, dazzling life-forms regard flames easily courageous passion. Easily identifiable thoughts dismiss personal expression. System push upheld your theater of this, this repeated collapse into the known. Mothlight on Vermont folded into Hollywood rambles for now until the avant adept, unpredictable boundaries incredible with here. Here: with and within the here. Therefore four to the this, before:

1. Sense is a music of people in envy of music.
2. Fill your shoes with festival and urge.
3. Comfort never reasons the real talking.
4. Immediately silent in an alley is one theory.

Chromatic trains duct tape reductionist underground a series of fables until collage. A limitless future returns via midsummer history in the morning. Mosaic shot and detail signifiers, traditional exposure is artificial and the cosmos is our household. Lens of prelude cycles striving bardic. Woven formal drama, exploratic and distortix, the moon on fire, the earth is a star, the air around the sun, water flowing over the cosmic dog. Himself filmic feathers microscopic in declaration, a feeling for real flowers and transcendent telescopes, ​”…sonar causes injury and death to whales, dolphin, and other marine life. It has been shown that whales will even beach themselves to escape the noise, which is more than 100 decibels louder underwater than even the loudest rock concert​​,” writes Dahr Jamail. Stan Brakhage: “…it‘s my theory that if the major consideration of film is really the visual, then the reason that sound is a blind alley is that it cuts back sight, so that at the very instance that sound is removed, or that it‘s relatively silent, my theory is that it becomes more possible to see.”

The word is innumerable and incomprehensible. How unaware is perception which compositional coincidence imagines? Streaming movements beating mist tapestry scratching zooms. Firewood of the ancient transformation, sawdust concurrently dog epic seminal promise, power tools innocence and balance within internal progression, experimental salmon run parallel to seasonal philosophies. William Blake scratching layers the flame containers encompass. Imagine a week in which we light the eye with life in a field of rotting teeth. 1968: everyday life revolves around the evolution of itself. Blood cells rapid over the wounds in a personal poetics. Rainbows encountered create responses shimmering, circling woven rhythms, mythic blue writing articulate in the distillation of erotic meanings.

How did meaning become exotic? A frugal comparison is never as complete as what is added. What is added is always late, very late, standing at the entrance, springing into facial solidity, the lines of a negative climbing climbing the yearning heart. Part of the hero is deserted in the sentence, deservedly so. I remember dreams of practical work on my shoulders for a single day, hammers and wrenches, screwdrivers, drills and saws, bent nails in a rusting bucket. Backward capillary ramifications. The logarithmic reproduction of failure. A negative vortex dreaming the war of inspiration. The inscrutability of a fact. Repetition without context. Religious architecture for trees. The history of also (while it lasts). Midwinter at noon, from dawn to morning, in winter. Omit the mountain and close the climb. Cohesive metaphorical motion: make it new and it will not cohere.

Films last forever and are immediately buttoned over a piece of spiral. Slips a couple of breakfast at the fish. I have finished changing myself from soap to soup and back to soap and then again to soup. We looked into keeping the built actual consonant, but the burning sky chopping ledge, carrying water, cooking rice, eating fish, given the tree of snakes so to speak, which pulls two dance are suddenly a mound of flesh. Flashes the whole scape on proclivities superimposed.

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