The Dante Quartet

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14, 2011 by jhmertens

The Dante Quartet is in fact the end result of Brakhage’s almost lifelong fascination with The Divine Comedy. It is a brief but spectacular filmic attempt to find a visual equivalent or rhyme for the four stages of the ascent from hell depicted by Dante: divided into ‘Hell Itself,’ ‘Hell Spit Flexion,’ ‘Purgation,’ and ‘Existence is Song.'”

I’ve been a little obsessed with this film of late. I’ve watched a bit of Brakhage at this point in my life but I missed this one until recently. It’s probably one of his more structured attempts at the painted film, and the moments where the ghost images bleed through are transcendent and beautiful. It also has a fantastic percussive quality, like much of his work and I love the impressionistic stills that play with how we perceive the film both in motion and while inert (very reminiscent of Wold Shadow actually). Posted herein is the film itself and an interesting article that gives a bit of background information for it. Imagine yourself wading through the depth of Brakhage’s landscape, the smell of paint in your nostrils, the feel of it clinging to your arms. This, I think, is the best way to watch his films.


The Films Emerging from Tribeca

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2011 by jhmertens

Rottentomoatoes just posted a 10 movies to watch article for the Tribeca Film Festival. Some of it looks like shit, some of it looks alright, and a couple look amazing. I’m going to key in on two films in particular.

Beyond the Black Rainbow (2011)

Director: Panos Cosmatos

Writer: Panos Cosmatos

What It’s About?

A woman in a color drenched, trippy sci-fi 1983 alternate universe tries to escape a labyrinth. First time director tests the waters, combining the aesthetic sensibilities of the psychedelic quasi-experimental film championed by the likes of Gasper Noé with the quiet desperation of Kubrick’s 2001, or whatever the non-film snob mainstream version of 2001 would be. Check the trailer below.

The Troll Hunter (2011)

Director: André Øvreda

Writer: André Øvreda

What’s it about: 

Mockumentary/Narrative hybrid with cult film written all over it. A couple of college kids go out to some isolated region in Norway to confront a notorious bear hunter, only stumble upon a secret government conspiracy cover up of the existence of trolls. Beautiful CGI  chase scenes ensue. Check the trailer below.