Film Love and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center present:
In 1957, Jane Collom married the filmmaker Stan Brakhage and embarked on a collaborative partnership that resulted in perhaps the most extensive record of marriage and family life ever put on film – including several of cinema’s groundbreaking achievements. Film Love is proud to host the former Jane Brakhage (now Jane Wodening) in person for a wide-ranging conversation on her time and work with Stan Brakhage, her own acclaimed writing, and her life in and out of cinema.
During their three-decade marriage, Stan Brakhage produced many of the films that made his work central to the avant-garde, and to American cinema, of the twentieth century: the epic cycles Dog Star Man and Scenes From Under Childhood, and a series of 8mm Songs, among literally hundreds of completed films. Much of this work was driven by the Brakhages’ family life: the births, infancy, and growth of their children, the animal life in and around their rural Colorado home, and the Brakhages’ own marital harmony and tensions. Throughout this period, Jane played complex, overlapping roles: interlocutor, muse, and documentary subject, all within the context of raising a family and all while pursuing her own activity as a writer. Her remarkable role in Stan’s films, and in their making, remains deeply undervalued and little-addressed.
Recently, Wodening has begun to address her time and work with Stan Brakhage in a more public light. Her latest book, Brakhage’s Childhood, is her own account of Stan’s depression-era childhood, based upon extensive discussions with the filmmaker in the early 1980s. In conversation with scholar Brian Price, Wodening will discuss Brakhage’s Childhood, her time with Stan and her own writing, and her upcoming publication Wolf’s Dictionary. This is one of only a handful of appearances Wodening has made to discuss her work alongside that of Brakhage. (Copies of Brakhage’s Childhood will be available.)
The event will begin with a screening of three short films focused on Jane Brakhage. 1959’s Window Water Baby Moving bravely documents Jane’s pregnancy and the birth of the Brakhages’ first child. The film’s intensely visionary and nearly unprecedented depiction of childbirth have assured it a key place in cinema history. Hymn to Her is a brief, luminous filmic portrait of Jane by Stan. As a feminist response to Stan’s depiction of Jane as a “muse,” the young filmmaker Barbara Hammer made Jane Brakhage, a short documentary focusing solely on Jane and her work and life, and containing her voice. All three works are shown in their original format of 16mm film.
Advance screening at Emory: On February 5, 2016, at Emory University’s White Hall, Film Love curator Andy Ditzler will host a screening of 16mm Brakhage films on marriage and family. These rarely-screened but important works are different than those shown on February 13 and will provide further essential context for Jane Wodening’s February 13 appearance.
Film selections, February 13:
Window Water Baby Moving (Stan Brakhage, 1959, 12 min)
Hymn to Her (Stan Brakhage, 1974, 2 min)
Jane Brakhage (Barbara Hammer, 1974, 10 min)
535 Means Street NW
Atlanta, GA, 30318
Jane Wodening in Person
is generously co-sponsored by the Creative Media Industries Institute
at Georgia State University, the
Film & Media
Studies Department at Emory University, and the
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory.
Jane Wodening in Person is a Film Love event. The Film Love
series provides access to great but rarely seen films, especially important
works unavailable on consumer video. Programs are curated and introduced by Andy
Ditzler, and feature lively discussion. Through public screenings and events,
Film Love preserves the communal viewing experience, provides space for the
discussion of film as art, and explores alternative forms of moving image
projection and viewing. Film Love was voted Best Film Series in Atlanta by the
critics of Creative Loafing in 2006, and was featured in Atlanta Magazine's Best
of Atlanta 2009.