7:00pm at Cinema Borealis (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., 4th Floor)


Still from "The Process"

courtesy of the Estate of Stan Brakhage and Fred Camper (www.fredcamper.com)


Announcing the formation and premiere screening of a new, occasional, peripatetic film series - WHITE LIGHT CINEMA.

White Light Cinema is designed to complement the programming of other local film venues and organizations by presenting, alone and in collaboration, rare, obscure, overlooked, and resolutely non-commercial films and videos that have either not been screened in Chicago or have not shown in years.

While focusing heavily on great works by avant-garde film masters, the series aims to include both retrospective and contemporary films and videos that range across a wide spectrum of alternative cinema. White Light Cinema will present works demonstrating significant aesthetic merit, originality of vision, radical and commanding investigations of form, and challenging provocations to mainstream film and media conventions.

The inaugural program, screening Sunday, January 27, is a selection of rarely seen 1970's masterpieces by the legendary experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage (1933-2003). Brakhage's work has been well represented over the years in Chicago screenings, but the focus has generally been on his best-known canonical films or his most recent work at the time. There are many great films in his vast oeuvre that remain obscure even to the most dedicated avant-garde film aficionados. This program will highlight some of these titles, most of which have not shown in Chicago in decades.

One of the great masters of cinema, Stan Brakhage completed more than 400 films in his fifty plus year career. Beginning in the early 1950's and continuing to his deathbed, Brakhage's work is a profound exploration of the nature of film, the qualities of light and color, and the subtle and poetic possibilities of rhythm and editing. Any serious consideration of art in the 20th century would place him among the best artists working in any discipline: Charles Ives, Jackson Pollock, William Faulkner, etc. Brakhage's work is a monument to the infinite ways of looking at the world.



White Light Cinema Presents
Stan Brakhage: Rare Masterpieces from the 1970's

The Weir-Falcon Saga (1970, 29 minutes)
"I cannot describe (...): but there is an excerpt from 'The Spoils,' by Basil Bunting, which raises hair on the back of my neck similarly: 'Have you seen a falcon stoop/ accurate, unforeseen/ and absolute, between/ wind-ripples over harvest? Dead/ of what's to be, is and has been--/ were we not better dead?/ His wings churn air/ to flight./ Feathers slight/ with sun, he rises where/ dazzle rebuts our stare,/ wonder our fright.'" (Brakhage)

The Peaceable Kingdom (1971, 8 minutes)
"This film, one of the most perfect ever given to me to make, was inspired by the series of paintings of the same title by Edward Hicks." (Brakhage)

The Process (1972, 9 minutes)

The Wold-Shadow (1972, 3 minutes)
"'Wold' because the word refers to forests which poets later made plains, and because the word also contains the rustic sense to kill--this then my laboriously painted vision of the god of the forest." (Brakhage)

The Shores of Phos: A Fable (1972, 10 minutes)
"Phos = Light, but then I did also want that word within the title which would designate PLACE, as within the nationalities of 'the fabulous'--a specific country of the imagination with tangible shores, etc. The film adheres strictly to the ordinary Form of the classical fable." (Brakhage)

Skein (1974, 4 minutes)
"'A loosely coiled length of yarn (story) ... wound on a reel' -- my parenthesis! This is a painted film (inspired by unpainted pictures): 'skins' of paint hung in a weave of light." (Brakhage)


Plus the unanounced bonus film Dominion (1974, 4 minutes).


Total running time: 67 minutes. All films 16mm, silent.

This program screens Sunday, January 27 at 7:00pm at Cinema Borealis (1550 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 4th Floor).

Admission: $7.00-10.00 sliding scale.