I have an idea for an antidote to present to those people who have been so seduced by James Cameron’s 3D Avatar that they would rather take their own lives than be denied a world where you get chased by killer rhinos, are subjected to the rule of a supreme leader, wear the same clothes every day and can never read a book or watch a movie.
I suggest nationwide screenings of Stan Brakhage’s Passage Through: A Ritual, which was screened in London for the first time ever last night thanks to Close-Up and The Dog Movement using Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club as a venue.
It intensifies the film experience by taking away much of what you would expect, i.e. images. Five minutes will pass during which you’ll see nothing on the screen except the visual equivalent of white noise, like white fire flies dancing around a dark light. Then there’ll be an image – a haystack, a dandelion, a kitchen, a glow of red above black card – which disappears after a couple of seconds, and the fire flies start dancing again. All the while, Philip Corner’s music (Through the Mysterious Barricade, Lumen I - after F. Couperin) sustains the experience, but what’s stayed with me are the images.
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