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Xcèntric's 20th anniversary

Scenes From Under Childhood


Stan Brakhage's major work and his great film about childhood, Scenes From Under Childhood (1967-70) explores the birth of vision. By filming his children, the cineaste composes, in four parts and from foetal beginnings, the experience of discovering colour and light, materialising his ideas about the art of vision and the unexplored but original potential of cinema.

Eschewing bucolic, idealised footage of childhood, Brakhage seeks to capture their feelings of fear and unease, contrasted with those of overwhelming joy, and how the children sometimes feel "as if in a haze." Through superimposition, the extremely tender register of his children is edited together with his own childhood memories. As a result, the film also reveals the synchronicities between the sensory perceptions of the child, prior to language, and the creative life of an artist seeking to avoid "restrictions on the free flow of memory".

Scenes From Under Childhood: Section No.1, Stan Brakhage, 1967, 16 mm, 25 min.
Scenes From Under Childhood: Section No.2, Stan Brakhage, 1969, 16 mm, 40 min.
Scenes From Under Childhood: Section No.3, Stan Brakhage, 1969, 16 mm, 28 min.
Scenes From Under Childhood: Section No.4, Stan Brakhage, 1970, 16 mm, 46 min.

Screened in 16 mm. Copies courtesy of Canyon Cinema.

Directors: Stan Brakhage

This activity is part of Xcèntric's 20th anniversary, Xcèntric 2021

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