the talents of Brakhage the abstractionist have always vastly exceeded those of Brakhage the ideologue, and Murder Psalm is the best proof of this that i’ve seen from the man so far. i never really like when popular imagery of the 1950s (cartoons, advertising, domestic life, etc.) is used like this—mostly because it’s often extremely rote—but the montage at hand makes the attempted juxtaposition & synthesis all the more juvenile. what’s more, it feels sloppy and incidental in a way that i’d generally associate with lesser artists. there’s nothing behind the hand-painted sequences in this, and their placement comes across as truly careless.
not sure if there’s any other contemporary, generally lauded filmmaker whose idea of romance is as boring and cloying (in an unwittingly questionable way, no less!) as little ole Mr. Wong, but i’m at least pleasantly surprised that this is one hundred times better than In the Mood for Love. many of his stylistic tics i still find very irksome—i love gestural camerawork and editing, but the action scenes and time-lapse stuff are just so goddamn ugly—though i’m actually somewhat…
gods & masters, a flawed ideology eroded by a recognition of self in the Other--a surrogate mother saved at last (tears flood in). the axes of knowledge & power, corruption & good break down, an impossible justice rendered unto chaos, spangled across waves of digital smoke and electric heat.
not since Coppola's Youth Without Youth have i felt that a film demands to be rewatched such as this, but like that film as well, BvS aches with an endless sadness running…