Existence is Song: A Stan Brakhage Retrospective

The Text of Light

77 minutesG

Jun 12
  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.
  • This screening is eligible for our Rush policy. Ticket holders: Please be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the screening. If the event goes off-sale, we will sell tickets to the Rush line 10 minutes before the start of the screening, based on availability.

Introduced by Chris Gehman.

While Brakhage was setting up a shot for a portrait film he was making of an old high-school friend, the bellows of the camera lens drooped and focused on an ornate crystal ashtray on his friend's desk. Brakhage was stunned by the refracted world of shimmering and organic light this revealed, and spent the next few weeks filming the ashtray and other glass materials in all possible light conditions. Its unlikely genesis aside, The Text of Light is one of Brakhage's more popular films and a cornerstone of his oeuvre, creating a stunning cosmos of imagery as the beams of light form celestial patterns and lush fields of colour.

Preceded by The Shores of Phos: A Fable, a nature film that captures the play of light across the fur and feathers of Brakhage's farm animals.

Chris Gehman

Chris Gehman is a writer, curator, and experimental filmmaker. He has written for Millennium Film Journal and Cinema Scope, and he edited The Sharpest Point (05) and Explosion in the Movie Machine (13). He was Artistic Director of the Images Festival (01–04) and has done independent programming for venues in North America, Asia, and Europe. His films include Contrafacta (00), Rostrum Press: Materials Testing (08), Refraction Series (08), and Dark Adaptation (16), which premiered at TIFF and screened at the Berlinale.