Stan Brakhage in Rolling Stock, 1980-1990
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.