The Text of Light | Chicago Reader

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Running 75 minutes, this landmark 1974 film by Stan Brakhage was his first long, fully abstract work. Photographing tiny areas of a crystal ashtray, Brakhage discovers metaphors for landscapes in the patterns of reflection and diffraction: rivers, volcanoes, and mountains are suggested by images so delicate they're worthy of J.M.W. Turner. The film is simultaneously a vision of the world's creation and an inner landscape of spatial and light effects organized almost as if light were music.

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