VIDEODROOM 2021: STEVE GUNN PLAYS STAN BRAKHAGE
Musician Steve Gunn needs little introduction. This virtuoso guitarist and songwriter has released one masterpiece after another in recent years. "'The Unseen In Between' is the most immediate set Gunn has ever made", Rolling Stone wrote about Gunn's latest album. Steve is working on a new record, which will be released on Matador at the end of June 2021. But during VIDEODROOM Gunn puts his own work aside, and creates a unique live soundtrack to four short films by master filmmaker Stan Brakhage.
Brakhage was an American filmmaker and one of the most important figures of twentieth century experimental film. Over five decades he created an immense body of work with an enormous variety of formats and techniques: filming with a handheld camera, painting on celluloid, fast cutting, in-camera editing, scratching on films and collages. Central themes in Brakhage's work are birth, death, sexuality and innocence. From Martin Scorsese to David Lynch to Sonic Youth: they are all influenced by Stan Brakhage. Visions in Meditation#1-4, is a four-part silent film series made between 1989 and 1990.
“Since discovering Stan Brakhage's work as a young film student, I have found his films an endless, liberating source of inspiration. With his films being non-narrative, Brakhage often referred to his work as 'visual music'. As a musician, I find that philosophy very inspiring for my own work. These films I will perform with, ‘Visions in Meditation’, resonate with me profoundly with their mixture of landscape and dream consciousness. I am honored to perform with the visual poetry of these important Stan Brakhage visions.” - Steve Gunn
The Stan Brakhage films Visions in Meditation Nos. 1, 2, and 4 were made to be intentionally silent, and Visions in Meditation No. 3 was originally edited to sound by Rick Corrigan. The present screening with live music was not approved by the filmmaker and is not a collaboration with him, but has permission of the Brakhage estate. These are digital translations of the following films by Stan Brakhage: Visions in Meditation (1989, 16mm, color, silent, 16:19); Visions in Meditation # 2: Mesa Verde (1989, 16mm, color, silent, 16:09); Visions in Meditation # 3: Plato's Cave (1990, 16mm, color, sound, 16:36); Visions in Meditation # 4: D.H. Lawrence (1990, 16mm, color, silent, 17:41).
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