Brakhage - Wecht / Brakhage preservation misc.

From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Apr 11 2006 - 11:42:06 PDT

Howdy all -

Just thought I'd pass on some quick info in light of
an earlier thread on this film.

The film by Brakhage commonly referred to as "Wecht"
does indeed exist. It doesn't have a titlecard at the
head, and the leader of the original is labeled
"Portrait" in Stan's handwriting, so I'm not sure
where the 'Wecht' title comes from. There is a 'by
Brakhage' at the tail.

The film is 102 feet long, and has only one splice
edit, about a third of the way in. All other cuts
(and there are a number of them) are in-camera. The
film is all Ektachrome.

According to Greg Pierce at the Warhol, the film was
gifted to the Carnegie Museum of Art by Stan in
Pittsburgh in 1972. The Carnegie is the owner of the
film. There is a single reversal print of the film as
well, which was made around 1972, paid for by the
Carnegie (And Greg says this is all likely thanks to
Sally Dixon).

The original seems to be in great shape, and I just
sent it to (Western) Cinema Lab for a new negative and
prints to be made, to preserve the film. I'm not sure
what interest there might be to see it, but the film
will not be going into regular distribution, as Stan
clearly didn't see it as a work he wanted to make
widely available.

Any questions about this or other Brakhage
preservation stuff, feel free to contact me anytime.
Best wishes to all -


p.s. current Brakhage preservation in progress:

Centuries of June
Thanks to Anthology, for providing essential materials
for this preservation. Prints that have been in
distribution all these years from Stan were made from
an internegative made from a slightly dupey Ansco
master made from the original Kodachrome, and have not
looked nearly as good as this beautiful film should.
The new prints should look gorgeous.

The Horseman, the Woman and the Moth
Unfortunately, the originals are faded beyond use.
The new master will either be a vintage reversal print
(again, thanks to Anthology), or the original 1968 (!)
internegative, which looks remarkably good. Testing
still ongoing.

Gnir Rednow
Original Kodachrome was with Stan, following Cornell's
completion of the edit. In excellent shape.

Cat's Cradle
Original for the film is totally faded, and quite
worn. Was shot on a Gevaert color reversal stock,
which is apparently insanely unstable. Seems to be
the only film Stan shot on this stock. The film is
being preserved from a very good condition late '60s
reversal print struck directly from the original. The
new prints look really good, better than expected.

Two: Creeley/McClure
Original is 16mm b/w A/B/C rolls, which were printed
to a color reversal master with a golden/sepia tone.
This master was used as the original, as it reflects
the tone correctly as Stan wanted it, and is the only
element ever used to make prints. Wild shifts in
exposure in this film created a lot of color
consistency and crossover problems, causing the tone
to skew magenta in bright sections. Cinema Lab fixed
this by pre-flashing the neg stock to help cancel out
the crossover, which apparently worked - I haven't
seen a print yet, but will this week, probably.

The Riddle of Lumen
I've talked about this project before, but basically
five shots on faded print stock in the original needed
to be optically replaced by the same shots in an
unfaded reversal print (supplied by MoMA, thanks!).
The negative was made, and prints beautifully, but
timing has been a bit complicated. Currently on our
third answer print, which I should be looking at this
Sexual Meditation: Open Field
Another troublesome one timing-wise. The original is
an edited ECO master struck from A/B bi-pack rolls.
The first new print looked beautiful, but was too
bright, compared to a few prints, including an
original answer print generously loaned by Bill
Sugrue. However, darkening emphasized the slight blue
fading that exists in the ECO, so we're currently
re-timing the print to maintain the darker tones and
de-emphasize the blue.

Upcoming projects:
The Process
Murder Psalm
The Weir-Falcon Saga

Thanks for reading this far...


Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.