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The Riddle of Lumen

Stan Brakhage

USA, 1971
14 minutes, Colour, Silent, 4:3
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: 16mm

The classical riddle was meant to be heard, of course. Its answers are contained within its questions, and on the smallest piece of itself this possibility depends upon SOUND ‘utterly’, like they say… the pun its pivot. Therefore, my Riddle of Lumen depends on qualities of LIGHT. All films do of course. But with the Riddle of Lumen, ‘the hero’ of the film is light itself. It is a film I’d long wanted to make – inspired by the sense, and specific formal possibilities, of the classical Englang. riddle…only one appropriate to film and, thus, as distinct from language as I could make it. – S.B.