Prelude To Dog Star Man


Brakhage's Dog Star Man is definitely a masterpiece of film making. The film, concerning the aspects of life, felt like a dream. As a spectator, I got this feeling like when you pass out and images just come across your mind. The footage, though it flashes by, is relatable. Even the generated images done with paint or scratches on the film reminds the spectator of the life in which emerges within them. It also makes one aware of the lives that exist all around. The focus on nature, the symbolizing of cellular life, and animals convey a vivacious feel throughout the entire film. Even the use of color is symbolic to visions or experiences that most of us have beheld. No other film (in my opinion) has successfully captured that feeling. Even in narratives when a character dies and you see scenes of their life flash by, it does not convey a broad feeling. You see visions of that character's life, but most of the time those visions are unrelatable to anything other than the bond we form with the character we are watching. I thought the silence within the film added to that vivacious feeling because it allowed us to focus visually. In a way it allows us to experience turning off our senses (or what it would be like if our senses were shut off) and letting our minds run with everything we have experienced.
--Eva Jones, 2000


"Prelude to Dog Star Man" by Brakhage was captivating and unique. It was hard to understand at first, but once I had a chance to think about the images, they began to make more sense to me. Brakhage was careful and deliberate with every scene in choosing the objects and images that he wanted to use. Every object and image has a meaning and for this reason the film is very complex. The Prelude was interesting and disorienting. The images and objects were presented on the screen in a fast paced continuous motion. It was often hard to tell what was on the screen at times because the scenes were cut so fast. The Prelude had connection to Brakhage's own life. There are scenes of himself, his wife, and his child. The scenes go from very near to very far. There seems to be some sort of a time line within the film. I feel Brakhage presents different periods in his life with different objects and images to make a point and capture the feeling of his experiences. This Prelude was like life itself because it goes by in a flash but it is filled with so many different experiences and elements. Brakhage seemed to be avoiding narrative in this film, intentional or not. Brakhage seems to be focusing on capturing the feelings and experiences that he had in his life. This is one of the most captivating movies that we have seen so far, and I would like to see the whole film. I think that I the rest of the movie is probably excellent and I would probably benefit from watching it.
--Erica Ferry, 2000


This film was very colorful- much solar flare of stars and sun...lot so of shapes, the beating heart, woman with a baby, a man laughing and also much layering effect. One common effect was the scratching and cracks of the film as it moved from frame to frame.
--John Bartruff, 2000




Stan Brakhage Work