Re: Dog Star Man and L. L. Bean

From: Allen Riley (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Dec 18 2009 - 15:51:02 PST

While some circles of internet conspiracy theorists might find
synchromystic connections between the symbols of man and dog in both
instances, I see no deliberate artistic reference being made.

In other words, Brakhage was deliberately working with these
archetypes to create a myth. The advertisement is exploiting similar
archetypes to achieve mass appeal.


On Dec 18, 2009, at 4:13 PM, Fred Camper wrote:

> Quoting Chuck Kleinhans <email suppressed>:
>> U.S. Frameworkers might have the same reaction I did to the new L. L.
>> Bean Christmas commercial on TV.
> Chuck, I know you weren't claiming that this commercial was any
> good, and I thank you for calling it to our attention. Intrigued by
> your post, I found the commercial online at
> I assume this is the one? It's also on Bean's own site.
> The first few shots don't look "handheld" to me. Am I missing
> something here? In pre-steadicam days, I would have assumed they
> laid tracks in the snow to get those smooth movements, and maybe
> that is what they did. Also, the very first shot is not only neither
> a man nor a dog, but the tritest subject of them all, a cute little
> girl, and it has a symmetry, and cloying cuteness, that is, to quote
> Brakhage in another context, "everything I have opposed in my 50
> years of filmmaking." Actually, the whole commercial is that too. It
> has a predictability, and a mechanical slickness, that is the
> complete opposite of Brakhage's imagery, in which you can feel every
> surprising quiver of his nervous system, body, and mind.
> I found a short bio of the director of this ad at
> Based on the bio, it seems possible that he never saw a Brakhage
> film. Of course it's also possible that he did. But something like
> the final credits of "The Jacket," which whatever you think of them
> are an obvious Brakhage homage, are quite a different matter from
> this commercial. Family in snow is a pretty obvious image for
> winter, and the three images showing man and dog together are
> followed by an obnoxiously "well-composed" image of man, woman and
> dog, which, despite Brakhage's alleged celebration of the nuclear
> family, is a kind of shot he would never use -- except perhaps as a
> "horror" image in a found footage (and never made) "sequel" to
> "Murder Psalm."
> The larger point is that Brakhage's whole aesthetic, the
> unpredictability of each moment in his work, the constructions of
> his films as self-questioning paradoxes, the way his films seem to
> consume themselves in the process of their unfolding, is completely
> opposed to the object-centered possessivenes of our culture, and its
> commercial products. The idea that Brakhage's work is apolitical is
> totally wrong, if "political" is understood in a larger sense:
> Brakhage's entire oeuvre critiques mainstream culture's way of
> seeing, and being.
> Fred Camper
> Chicago
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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