Filmforum will present a program of films by Stan Brakhage, the master of cinematic stream-of-consciousness, at LACE at 8 tonight. For more than 30 years Brakhage has been creating meaning from a flow of highly eclectic images that seem to be linked only by free association. What in lesser hands would result only in a rag-tag, home-movie jumble emerges in his films as an intensely rhythmic vision of the universe as powerful as it is personal. Brakhage has a special gift of bringing us in touch with nature and, therefore, ourselves.
The centerpiece of the evening is the 50-minute, two-part "23rd Psalm Branch," shot in 8-millimeter in 1966 and blown up to 16-millimeter in 1978 and quite possibly never before screened in Los Angeles. Featuring Brakhage's usual free-moving superimposed images, it contrasts scenes of Brakhage's serene domestic existence in rural Colorado with often solarized World War II archival footage as a way of expressing Brakhage's consideration of how the artist and the individual are to respond to war--specifically, the Vietnam War, then raging. The quick cuts of the first part, depicting a world menaced by chaos, give way to the more contemplative passages of the second, filmed largely in Europe and suggestive of a quest for the roots of war.