Thanks Fred for posting this on the web. I believe the idea of art
that Fred expresses in the article (inspired by Brakhage's great art)
is worth reading for anyone interested in cinema, even if you've not
seen the film or any Brakhage film.
What interested me most about "The Art of Vision" was the effect the
repetition of the images had on my mind. It was, in itself, a metaphor
When an image is repeated many times, superimposed with different
shots, and each time put into a totally different "context" by the
shots preceding them, it is impossible to not realize how our seeing
is affected by the state of our brains. The experience of the image is
completely different each time it is shown and to realize of our
ability to experience such different feelings towards the same "thing"
is simply mind opening.
"Dog Star Man" is one of my favorite films, although I have seen it
only on DVD. I also had the chance to inspect it frame by frame many
times, which I'm sure added a lot to its pleasure. Watching "The Art
of Vision" was completely different partly because of what I have
Also, I knew a bit about the film's structure but for some reason I
thought the last reel of "Dog Star Man" would climb to a climax at the
end, the individual rolls followed by more and more complicated
superimpositions. I was wrong, of course, Brakhage knows much better
than that. The sense of that amazingly beautiful 4-reel
superimposition decomposing helps the film blend into the daily life,
something very rare in cinema.
I believe there were about 7 people in the audience when the film
ended, other than a few old ladies who came to see the film that was
going to be shown afterwards. One of them asked me as I was leaving:
"Did you enjoy that?"