Dog Star Man Review

Image for Dog Star Man

A man walks his dog - but this multi-layered and somewhat surreal film shows us what's going on in his body as he does.


In an age in which visual effects are invariably achieved by computers, it's staggering to consider the dedication that went into the production of Stan Brakhage's exhilarating masterpiece, let alone the artistic vision that inspired it.

Comprised of a prelude and four parts (which represent the seasons), the film employs natural, cosmological, sexual and biological symbols to build up an increasingly complicated picture of humanity's place in the universe. The multi-layered superimpositions are fascinating, if disconcerting, but it's the hand-applied additions to the celluloid that made this so unique in 1962 and so compelling now.

Avant-garde and near impenetrable, this is nevertheless visually amazing, using every trick in the book to look at the world beyond our normal senses.