Regie's Take on the History of Cinema

December 12, 2010

Mothlight: A Review

by regiesh

Though I did not attend the experimental art film class I have chosen to do a review on Mothlight. I’m actually familiar with Mothlight because my friend goes to a prestigious film school, was shown it in class and then showed it to me knowing of my interest in film. Stan Brakhage changed the way many artists thought about cinema through his use of real natural objects pressed straight onto and between strips of film.

Outside the box thinking has always attracted me and therefore I enjoy Mothlight. After watching the short film multiple times I have come to find the moth wing a little disturbing. I start to think about how Moths tend to burn up and die in the light that they are attracted to so I continue to imagine the wings disintegrating. I’m not sure if this is what Brakhage was trying to convey or felt himself but it is how I personally emotionally feel. I also get a sense that his use of flowers, dirt and weeds exist to show the environment the moth may have lived in. I know that Brakhage did not just randomly choose to use natural elements but that they were translucent enough to be projected.

He manages to bring together a cohesive idea as simple as it may be. Even so, the viewer is completely immersed in the idea that this is a film. This is not an escape, but a film. We see the light being projected onto the natural found objects and we see the strips rapidly moving. This may be the closest thing to realistic film as we can get.

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