Experimental Filmmaker Stan Brakhage

Stan Brakhage

When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I read in Famous Monsters magazine about a kid who made an amateur science fiction movie on 8 mm film. To achieve his ray-gun effect, the kid scratched each individual frame of film and colored the scratch with an ink marker. When, as a teenager, my parents gave me a Super 8 mm Camera for Christmas, I tried some film inking myself and was happy with the results. Some of this can be seen in my video “Cosmic Abyss (Father)” on Youtube under “Bill Ectric.” My video looks a lot like the footage seen at the beginning of this video, which, I was delighted to find today at Candlelight Stories, an interview with experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage.

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Danel Griffin on The Implications of Vlad the Impaler and the Alchemist Dippel’s Fictional Metamorphosis

If you’ve read the About page of Bill Ectric’s Place, you know I’m interested in academic pursuits, and if you’ve read more than a couple of my blog entries, you know my interests include the mysterious, the esoteric, and the Gothic. Imagine my delight at finding this article by Danel Griffin on his Film as Art website.

He begins:

“This thesis proposal initially found its roots in an afterthought, a few years after I read a set of books by one Radu Florescu titled In Search of Dracula and its follow-up In Search of Frankenstein, two fascinating travel books speculating on the actual historical personalities who probably inspired Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley to write their Gothic masterpieces.

Allow me a brief set-up, and then we’ll get to the afterthought that planted the seed: Stoker is widely known (although few people probably know that it was Florescu who first suggested the connection—Clerici, 3) to have based his bloodthirsty Count on the sixteenth-century Wallachian prince Vlad Tepes “the Impaler,” dubbed “Dracula” (meaning “Dragon,” or “Devil”) by his enemies . . . Less widely known but equally fascinating is Florescu’s research on the historical Dr. Frankenstein, one Johann Konrad Dippel, an eighteenth-century alchemist born in Castle Frankenstein whose diabolical experiments included grave-robbing, and grinding up bones and human flesh for life-lengthening potions (Florescu, In Search of Frankenstein, 65-94) (which were never successful). Both of these men were quite notorious in their own times . . .”

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