John Dreams of Moth Wings
Stan Brakhage’s Mothlight and Andy Warhol’s Sleep are two important avant-garde American films, both made in 1963. They represent the opposite extremes of cinema, extremes that haven’t been surpassed in the last half-century; in fact they’ve mostly been dismissed as too extreme. One presents the camera’s mechanical blank stare; the other was made without a camera at all. One is frantic and fleeting and the other is silent and passive. They are enormously personal films that contemplate life, death, longing, and the very definitions we have for cinema. In the film-as-mental-state analogy, Mothlight is seizure and Sleep coma.
5 min. 2015.