Glaze of Cathexis (Stan Brakhage, 1990, USA)

Glaze of Cathexis is another later-era film from Stan Brakhage, made in 1990. The film runs three minutes in length, and to some might appear like an acid trip. Like many of Brakhage's works from this period, it is also hand-painted. The film begins with many circular shapes, primarily red, green, and yellow. Eventually, the image appears washed out and it looks as though you can see the actual frame. The colors begin to appear at a much more rapid pace and almost appear as lines or scratches on the celluloid. This accelerates, although there are numerous gaps throughout as the colors suddenly come in a flurry as if in a storm, this time with more red and blue hues. The colors dancing almost appear to be imitating movement as they show up in this phase of the film, and there is a green tint that starts to permeate the film. The later part of the film has what almost looks like drawings or sketches, interspersed as well with the various colors. Sometimes the colors dance on the edges of the screen. Sometimes they appear simply as dots or lines against a black screen. The film culminates with a heavy green emphasis, with green lines dancing across the images. The lines painted become larger at a certain point, fading to blue and then to white. The film ends with the signature Stan Brakhage's signature. 

Cathexis is a term in psychoanalysis, that refers to the focus of concentration on a particular person, object, or idea. It reflects the premise of the film well, in that one can sense Brakhage's concentration on the process here. Apparently, he was going through a divorce at this stage in his life, and perhaps the chaos of the film reflects some inner turmoil that he was experiencing at the time.



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