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First Hymn to the Night – Novalis

Stan Brakhage

USA, 1994
5 minutes, Colour, Silent
Available formats: 16mm

‘This is a hand-painted film whose emotionally referential shapes and colours are interwoven with words (in English) from the first Hymn in the Night by the late 18th-century mystic poet Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg, whose pen name was Novalis. The pieces of text which I’ve used are as follows: ‘the universally gladdening Light…As inmost soul…it is breathed by stars…by stone…by suckling plant…multiform beast…and by (you). I turn aside to holy Night…I seek to blend with ashes. Night opens in us…infinite eyes…blessed love’.’ – S.B.