I’ve said the Brakhage set is my favorite DVD… and yet I’d never watched Dog Star Man all the way through, and never seen The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes until lately. Soon after I got the discs, I had a traumatic experience with DSM. Thought I’d watch it at night lying on the couch with Coil’s Moon’s Milk (In Four Phases) album playing. I remember the image of a man (Brakhage himself, I believe) with his dog climbing a snowy hill, but I quickly fell asleep and had awful nightmares, my worst in years, and woke up not wanting to watch DSM anymore.
So some years later I tried again, this time with Sonic Youth’s Koncertas Stan Brakhage on the stereo, again at night on the couch. Dozed off again during sections of Part 1 and most of Part 2, but I got more of an impression of the overall film this time. It’s tremendously complicated, with ideas and techniques from his other films all run into a feature which actually plays as a feature… I didn’t realize you could extend a Brakhage film past the hour mark and it’d stay gripping. And I know it sounds bad for me to call “gripping” a movie which I can’t stay awake through, but I know what I mean, and I’m the only one who reads this stuff anyway.