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Stan Brakhage in Rolling Stock, 1980-1990

Stan Brakhage in Rolling Stock, 1980-1990

By Jerry White
Subjects Performing Arts, Film & Media
Series Film and Media Studies Hide Details
Hardcover : 9781771123037, 379 pages, October 2017

Table of contents

Preface by Linda Williams




Chapter One: A Conservative Avant-garde: Brakhage, Tarkovsky and Syberberg


Stan Brakhage Texts

Brakhage text 1 “Closely Watched Blurs”

Brakhage text 2 “Brakhage at the Ninth Telluride”

Brakhage text 3 “Telluride Gold: Brakhage Meets Tarkovsky”

Brakhage text 3.1 “Short Takes on Telluride:‘Straight’ European vs. New American”


Critical Interlude: Notes on the Films Brakhage Showed to Tarkovsky, 1983


Brakhage text 4 “Telluride Zinc”

Brakhage text 4.1 “Mailer Madness, Torn Macho”

Brakhage text 4.2 “Losey and Leigh”

Brakhage text 5 “Telluride Takes, Brakhage Talks”

Brakhage text 6 “Brakhage Observes: Telluride the 13th”

Brakhage text 7 “The Gold, the Bad & the Usual”


Chapter Two: A Certain Kind of Soviet: Brakhage, Parajanov and Shepitko



Epilogue: Pordenone, 2015



Appendix A: Final Brakhage text: “International Cinema: The 12th Denver”

Appendix B: Blessings: Letters from Stan Brakhage

Appendix C: Ruby Rich: “Hitler: A Film From Germany: Is this a fascist film or an exposé of fascist filmmaking?”

Appendix D: A Stan Brakhage / Telluride filmography

Appendix E : A Stan Brakhage / Rolling Stock bibliography


Works Cited


Filmmaker Stan Brakhage has long been known as a giant of experimental cinema, but this collection shows him in a completely new light – as a writer. Throughout the 1980s, Brakhage contributed to the Boulder literary magazine Rolling Stock, mostly with reports from the Telluride Film Festival. These reports show that Brakhage was keenly interested in world cinema and was eager to meet and exchange views with filmmakers of different stripes.

The book also contains substantial discussion of Brakhage's work in light of the filmmakers he encountered at Telluride and discussed in Rolling Stock. Long chapters are given over to Soviet filmmakers such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Larissa Shepitko, and Sergei Parajanov, as well as the German filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Syberberg. Brakhage was a keen viewer of these filmmakers and their contemporaries, both at Telluride and in his role as teacher at the University of Colorado, and Stan Brakhage and Rolling Stock attempts to place his work alongside theirs and thus reclaim him for world cinema.

The book's appendices reprint letters Brakhage wrote to Stella Pence (Telluride's co-founder and managing director), as well as summaries of his work for Telluride and a brace of difficult-to-find reviews.