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Confession

Stan Brakhage

USA, 1986
25 minutes, Colour, Silent
Available formats: 16mm

This film was photographed midst the drama it depicts: as I was the ‘protagonist’ of the drama, it is the most extremely autobiographical documentation given to me to do. as it was made while the brain was thus stunned, I think it was wrongly titled Love Sacrifice. I am now renaming it Confession (in the same spirit that moved me to re-title Sincerity IV/Duplicity I). There is a clear sense that all which the film depicts precludes even the possibilities of Love, so that it represents an even greater sacrifice of all that we know of loving than I had originally thought when I first titled it. Perhaps I, after all a film maker, should cease speaking and simply turn to a quote from Petrarch which seems true ‘addenda’ to the film now as it did when I first made it: ‘Firstly, I revealed in salutary confession the secret fifth of my misdeeds, which has long been festering in stagnant silence, and I made it my custom to confess often, and thus to display the wounds of my blinded soul to the almighty Healer’ (Epistolae Familiares X,5, June 11, probably 1352). I suddenly thought the title might best be, simply, Confession, for the Petrarch does hold solid through all this turmoil. I continue to think there can be no ‘wrong’ form of loving… BUT, people can become easily confused as to what Love IS. – S.B.