Moth Light – Stan Brakhage


Moth light by Stan Brakhage is a silent 4 minute collage film that is produced with real world elements. Brakhage produced the film without the use of a camera. the natural elements included in the production were; moth wings, flower petals and blades of grass.He then pressed them between two strips of 16mm slicing tape. The produce of this was then contact printed at a lab to allow projection in a cinema. The elements included where all thin and had transparencies to it permitted the passage of light.

Brakhage was initially interested in the idea of moth wins when he noticed them burning to death and flickering above lights.It’s an experimental film and what drew me to this in regards to my own work is the use of flashing imagery, abstract shape and colours. There is no plot to it, it’s purely aesthetically produced.

The video itself is quite short and punchy which intrigues me watching it. He created a visual phenomenon that challenges viewers to regard the natural world from a different perspective as the shapes, textures and colours explode across the screen. The arrangement of the elements and the patterns create an existing explosion across the screen of shapes,textures and colours.

In regards to my own work ; as previously stated when referencing the ‘untitled movie 1999’ the use of flashing quick paced imagery makes it hard to concentrate on whats happening but it creates really beautiful imagery. It’s something that I’m trying to recreate in my own moving image. For me it changes the pace of a ‘dream’ showing memories flash and fade away that creates more ambiguity in whats being shown, as researched sometimes you cant remember what has happened in a dream or from a memory but have a vague outline this can help represent that. Also the idea of destruction the quick moving imagery also adds and exaggerates this notion.


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