PRINT January 1973

“Scenes From Under Childhood”

. . . this fire of motion pictures erupts out of Time’s dimension . . .

—Stan Breakage, on Georges Méliès

From childhood memories . . . comes a feeling of being uncommitted and afterwards lost that I hold to be the most fruitful that exists. . . . It is as if you were running towards your salvation, or your doom. You relive, in the shadows, a precious terror. . . . With a shudder you cross what the occultists call dangerous territory.

—Andre Breton, Surrealist Manifesto (1924)

IN SCENES FROM UNDER CHILDHOOD, his major 16 mm work of the late 1960s, Brakhage seeks to show his passage across that “dangerous territory” of reexperienced childhood memories, and to render in the medium of time the past as it is relived in the present. The film is an autobiography, intended as the initial section of a much longer filmic autobiography still in progress. In a sense most of Brakhage’s films are

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