23rd Psalm Branch

Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 19:05:30 -0500
From: Fred Camper [f@FREDCAMPER.COM]
Subject: Re: 23rd Psalm Branch

Sam Wells wrote:

> Fred, can you explain to me how you think "23rd Psalm Branch"
> (somewhat uniquely, to judge by your list) contextualizes its
> imagery in relation to history ?

The whole second section is an attempt to come to terms with European cultural traditions of various kinds, and Brakhage's discovery of his own relationship to culture. They are, as he scratched on the film, an an attempt to get to "source." The implication is that the sources of violence can also be found in the positive aspects of culture, and Brakhage tries to discover the relationship between his own seeing of war, his own seeing of European culture, and European culture itself. This all relates to the way the first section is about his own relationship to images of war. A comparison of the editing style of the sections "Peter Kubelka's Vienna," "My Vienna," and the editing of war footage in the first section, makes this point. And the editing of the war footage has elements of both of the "Vienna" sections' editing, locating war in relation to both traditions.

Obviously the film is not about a historical or sociological approach to war, but even in the first section, the way the frame-line and rapid editing works is arguably an analytical approach to violence, asking questions about the relationship between war and human perception.

Fred Camper

Stan Brakhage Work