Seasons... (2002)

  |  Short


Brakhage's hand carvings directly into the film emulsions are illuminated and textured by Solomon's lighting and optical printing. The forms are then shaped and edited by Solomon into a ... See full summary »


7.7/10
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8 September 2003 | Squrpleboy
9
| Visually Transporting
It seems rare nowadays to watch a film and be moved by sheer anticipation and delight in the visual presentation, but Solomon and Brakhage's collaborative SEASONS... (2002) does so with so much gusto as to raise a smile to the viewer's face at the same time as it confounds them with its technical virtuosity.

I've seen a great many of Brakhage's experiments in "hand-made" cinema -- both painted and/or etched directly onto film -- and I'd half-expected to become immune to the possibility of his being able to engage the "magic" in yet another film, so it was a great surprise and joy to me to discover he had indeed surpassed all previous efforts with this film. This is due in large part to the incredible optical printing and editing done by Stan's friend and filmmaker Phil Solomon. Whereas Brakhage's images are stunning, surreal and intensely palpable in their own right (resembling sculpture or relief-cut work rather than mere scratches), Phil's reworking of every frame with a textural quality of light and image manipulation goes beyond what most have come to expect of non-digital effects in today's CGI-glutted realm of possibilities. Bi-packing painted and etched images, relighting from inconceivable angles across the film surface, and bleeding the colours and light across and through the thousands of individual pictures creates a stunning other-world where the viewer can see and feel the shifting of abstract seasons. And yet the film never attempts to intone or give in to mere mimicry, so strengthening its purely visual and temporal rhythms. My jaw actually dropped with each new sequence unfolding. A truly wonderful and sharing partnership that accentuates the incredible talent of two extremely gifted film visionaries.

9/10. Consistently and exponentially astounding.

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