Filmmaker as Film Theorist: Brakhage, Deren, Frampton A lecture by P. Adams Sitney

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 7:30pm
Filmmaker as Film Theorist: Brakhage, Deren, Frampton

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

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A lecture by P. Adams Sitney

Out of print for over 40 years, Stan Brakhage’s landmark Metaphors on Vision is being republished by Anthology Film Archives and Light Industry. To celebrate its release, P. Adams Sitney will give a lecture about the book in an attempt to situate it within a lineage of theoretical polemics by American avant-garde filmmakers.

He believes that the essential precursor to Metaphors on Vision (1963) was Maya Deren’s Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film (1946), just as Metaphors on Vision was the crucial antecedent to Hollis Frampton’s Circles of Confusion: Film, Photography, Video: Texts 1968-1980 (1983). Each of these volumes was carefully and elaborately constructed to seduce readers by mildly baffling them while also impressing them with the depth and breadth of the author’s aesthetic expertise.

Sitney contends that all books in this tradition respond with some ferocity to earlier writings by filmmakers in an effort to redefine cinema, implicitly or explicitly locating the author’s own films at the very center of film history. Such arguments are not merely reflexes of artistic egomania, for their principles often emerge from intuitive discoveries the filmmakers stumbled upon in the act of composing a film. Consequently, Sitney will illustrate his talk with several works by Deren, Brakhage, and Frampton.

At Land, Maya Deren, 1944, 16mm, 15 mins
Thigh Line Lyre Triangular, Stan Brakhage, 1961, 16mm, 9 mins
Films by Stan Brakhage: An Avant-Garde Home Movie, Stan Brakhage, 1961, 16mm, 4 mins
Blue Moses, Stan Brakhage, 1962, 16mm, 11 mins
Apparatus Sum, Hollis Frampton, 1972, 16mm, 3 mins
Gloria!, Hollis Frampton, 1979, 16mm, 10 mins

P. Adams Sitney, Professor Emeritus from Princeton University, is a preeminent historian of avant-garde cinema. He is the author of Visionary FilmModernist MontageVital Crises in Italian CinemaEyes Upside Down, and The Cinema of Poetry.

Prints of Apparatus Sum and Gloria! preserved by Anthology Film Archives with support from the Estate of Hollis Frampton.

Tickets - $8, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.