This essay kicks off another new column here at Perpetual Nostalghia: Experimental Lunch. The primary goal will be to write about shorter experimental films that can be viewed online, perhaps on a lunch break, and to provide context and commentary.
Mothlight (1963) - dir. Stan Brakhage
Stan Brakhage’s Mothlight1 is a perfect example of what the average person probably imagines an “experimental” film to be: images flash past in a flurry of abstract shapes and colors, it has no plot, and there is ostensibly some grand, philosophical meaning latent in its flickering images of bugs, plants, and other organic bits. It also serves perfectly as an introduction to some of the central ideas and pleasures of experimental film viewing, such as pushing the boundaries of film language, exploring new perspectives, and examining the medium of film itself.