Anthology Film Archives Honors Film Preservationists

IN addition to his work as a filmmaker and teacher, Stan Brakhage is active in preserving works of avant-garde cinema for future generations.

He was recently honored for his work in this field by New York's respected Anthology Film Archives, which has played a key role in restoring and protecting non-commercial films.

Also honored this year were the Eastman Kodak Company, film historians Lewis Jacobs and Leonard Maltin, the National Center for Jewish Film, and Pioneer LDCA, a video-disc distributor.

In a program at the archives a couple of days later, Mr. Brakhage presented a program of films he has helped to preserve, and they made for a splendidly vigorous show. Included were:

* "The End," made by Christopher MacLaine in 1953. This pitch-dark comedy mingles color, black-and-white, and blank-screen passages as it tells the stories of five people on the last day of their lives. At once an adolescent farce, a deliberately tacky melodrama, and a dead-serious meditation on nuclear danger in the cold-war years, it still deserves its reputation as an underground classic.

* Films by Bob Branaman, a mysterious artist who refused to title his movies and dropped out of sight a number of years ago, never to be heard from again. Made between 1960 and 1963, his 8-millimeter works are dazzling collages of superimposed images, often edited at lightning speed.

* "Aleph," made by Wallace Berman in 1965. Shot on 8-mm film, this is a dense and breathtaking five-minute voyage through the early 1960s.

* A few early "Songs" by Brakhage, made on 8-mm film in the mid-1960s and initiating a glorious series of visual poems chronicling life with his family, his friends, his surroundings, and his innermost thoughts.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Anthology Film Archives Honors Film Preservationists
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today