Joseph Cornell 1903-1972
Centuries of June (made with Stan Brakhage) (1955)
This is a film about an old house which was to be torn down. I think Cornell was interested in showing us the beauty of this fine old structure, but it seems dead and lifeless and cut off from the life all around it. We see children and workmen and insects. The neighborhood really is alive and vital, but the house has had its day.
This film has unusual color. I would describe it as "hot" color and I found it very appealing. But I don't know if this was the way the film looked originally or if the color has changed over the years. -- John C., Film Notes
The films of the reclusive artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) are as unique as his famous box constructions. Though rarely exhibited during his lifetime, these mysterious works nonetheless have had a deep and lasting influence on the world of avant-garde filmmaking . His entire body of film numbers some thirty-odd works, encompassing the incomplete and the fragmentary. It can be said that Cornell made two kinds of films in two distinct periods of activity: collage films, made by recombining found materials, and directed films,where he worked with cinematographers (including Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burckhardt and Larry Jordan) to document his fantasy/experience of wandering in New York. -Bradley Eros and Jeanne Liotta