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I Take These Truths

Stan Brakhage

USA, 1995
35 minutes, Colour, Silent
Available formats: 16mm

‘This film is entirely hand-painted and is composed of such an evolution of variably-coloured shapes that their interaction with each other should constitute purely visual ‘self evidence’ (as prompted by the title): everything beyond the title is as far removed from language as I could possibly make it; and thus it is, to me, practically impossible to describe. Each frame is printed twice, so that its effective speed (at 24 fps) is 12 frames per second. A variety of organic and crystalline painted shapes (painted on clear leader, thus as if brilliantly back-lit in a blazing space of light) are interspersed with very dark black leader passages (as if etched with scratches of light and stained radiances). The juxtaposition of these two contrasting qualities of painted and scraped film are ‘interwoven’ sometimes with vine- (or vein-) like irregular lines in black, or alternately, scratch-etched white. There are also some straight, multi-coloured, bars which move diagonally from one side of the film frame to the other. All these ‘themes’ finally give way to clear, thick, gelatinous effects which resolve themselves in a long passage of seemingly-struggling hieroglyphic white shapes in a black field, ending with a brief spate of variable coloration. Dedicated to Phil Solomon.’ – S.B.