Dog Star Man (1962)

Dog Star Man
Directed by Stan Brakhage
First viewing/Netflix rental
One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die


There are a lot of movies made for nobody. – Stan Brakhage

I had hoped that Heaven and Earth Magic would be the nadir of 1962 films selected to be seen before I died.  My hopes were dashed by this mess.

There is no need for a plot summary.  The film contains neither plot, dialogue nor sound. There are brief shots of a man – possibly on drugs – and his dog staggering through a snowy mountain landscape.

I had been warned – correctly – in advance that this was missable but decided it was worth checking out for at least five minutes.  The Prologue appeared to be made from a reel of film that had been pulled from a fire at the last possible second.  It looked like clips from the salvaged film were edited together at random.  After ascertaining that there would be no sound, I continued with some work looking up every few minutes to verify that nothing interesting was happening.  For completists or those on LSD only.

Clip from the Prelude – the first minute is dedicated to a black screen

6 thoughts on “Dog Star Man (1962)

  1. I stand by my statement that this is far more interesting frame-by-frame than running at full speed. Some of the frames, when paused, are quite striking and beautiful. But as a film, this is, as you’ve implied, an acid flashback, and I don’t have a great deal of interest in someone else’s hits off a hash pipe.

    • Art was probably what Brakhage thought he was making but I thought it was more like an unhappy accident. To me, art is something requiring intention and effort.

  2. “art is something requiring intention and effort.”…….errr that was to come from the viewer you realise, sooooo this one is high art indeed. 🙂

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