Underground Film Journal

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Cinefamily: Stan Brakhage With Lee Ranaldo Soundtrack And More

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 9, 2010

Lit up marquee at the Silent Movie Theater

March 10
8:00 & 10:15 p.m.
The Silent Movie Theater
611 N Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Hosted by: The Cinefamily

Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, along with fellow musicians Ulrich Krieger and Alan Licht, will be performing an improvised set during a screening of the classic Stan Brakhage experimental film Text of Light. Plus, there will be a screening of Huckleberry Lain‘s animated film Parallel, which will be accompanied by a live performance by the electronic band Languis.

The Text of Light, like the majority of Brakhage’s work, is, of course, a silent film — a meditation of vision focused on the light and images fractured through a glass ashtray. Although Brakhage used sound in some of his very early films and in some later ones, he mostly believed that cinema should be purely visual experience and shunned soundtracks.

However, Ranaldo does not describe the performance he will be doing as a soundtrack. Instead, the music “uses the films as a further element for improvisation, almost as [another] performer.” Although, from what I understand, Text of Light isn’t an “improvised” piece, but was created through a very deliberate, painstaking, heightened visual perception. Still, it should be an interesting performance.

As for Huckleberry Lain’s Parallel, you can watch a preview of the film at Lain’s website and listen to samples of Languis’ music at their website.

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