Re: Passage Through: A Ritual

From: J. Mabe (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Sep 25 2006 - 08:15:29 PDT

A great screening of “Passage Through: A Ritual” last
night. Only two people other than me in attendance –
but one person drove two hours to come out – so I have
definitely found the right audience, now I just need
to figure out how to grow the audience while holding
on the right audience.

A few thoughts/questions about the film:

1. The film gave me no ground to stand on. With each
image, I thought something might start to cohere, but
I’m still at a loss.

2. Is the film supposed to be experienced as a film?
Or is the film supposed to be simply experienced? Is
this a film with “A Ritual” in the title or was this
truly intended to be A Ritual? I suspect the latter.

3. Is the rain of green dots and scratches at the end
of reel 1 intentional or was it just a battered print?
 It looked intentional.

4. The beginning of reel 2 is very misleading – it
opens with a flurry of images that made me think that
the effect of reel 1 was building to something else,
but it quickly went back to darkness. Its just part
of the ritual I guess.

5. Around the middle of reel 2 there is a slow pan
across glass that reminded me very much of “Stan’s
Window.” I need to view both films many more times,
but this is what immediately occurred to me.

6. Saying I liked/didn’t like/loved/hated the film is
pointless. What I will say is that I’m VERY VERY
HAPPY that I saw it and was able to share the
experience with others.

Two thoughts on renting films prints:
1. Gosh, it’s expensive. I think I might have to cut
back to once every two months.

2. Insurance costs from UPS are ridiculous – a scam.
Don’t worry FMC – I insured the print for $800 like it
said – but golly!

One more thought:
You know that scene in “South Park: Bigger, Longer,
Uncut” when Cartman says, “That movie has warped my
fragile little mind.” As I sat for coffee later that
evening I wanted to say, “Stan Brakhage has warped my
fragile little mind.”

-Joshua Brack Mabe

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