Film Series

Avant-Garde Cinema of Water:

Films by Stan Brakhage, Peter Greenaway and others.

  • H2O directed by Ralph Steiner (1929) is an early and well known experimental film composed around the theme of water. As a type of cinematic tone poem, it emphasizes rhythm and alteration through the visual qualities of the images and the structure of the editing. Silent. (14 min.)
  • Analogies #1 directed by James Davis (1953) has the purpose to explore the “analogy: between effects of moving forms of color which are observed in highly reflective surfaces”, primarily water. (10 min.)
  • Aquarien directed by Stan Brakhage (1974) is a tone poem film envisioning subjects as we each see through the ocean in our eyes. Silent. (3 min.)
  • Sky Blue Water Light Sign directed by J. J. Murphy is a slow continuous pan across an illuminated beer advertisement with a shimmering backlit image of a body of water through a lenticular surface. (8 min.)
  • Water Wrackets directed by Peter Greenaway (U.K., 1975) is a commentary on a Tolkeinesque civilization evoked by mystical water imagery. (12 min.)
  • Commingled Containers directed by Stan Brakhage (1997) is “an envisionment of the fleeting complexity of worldly phenomenon” and was shot in Boulder Creek. Silent. (5 min.)
  • Water for Maya directed by Stan Brakhage (2000) is a hand-painted film dedicated to the filmmaker Maya Deren and her “intrinsic love of water and thus of all Mayan liquidity in magic conjunction, reflection, etc.” Silent. (5 min.)

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