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The Way to Shadow Garden 1954
Description: This method madness - or experimental filmmaking - lies. A solitary boy in coat and tie enters an apartment that may be a converted garage. It's midnight. He appears agitated and distraught. He throws a glass of water in his face and laughs. He takes off the coat and tie. His moods swing. He stares at a light bulb. He removes his shirt. He lights a cigarette. He looks at a book. He does something drastic and self-destructive. He opens doors to a garden that we see as a film's negative. We see his face as if peering around a plant. The garden doors close behind him.
Released: N/A Director: Stan Brakhage Writers: N/A Actors: Walter Newcomb Genres: Short
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The Way to Shadow Garden Reviews:

I first had the occasion to see this trippy tiny short some years back at a retrospective of Brakhage's work at one of my local art gallery. I had seen David Lynch's 'Eraserhead' some years earlier, and thought, ZOUNDS! I wondered then if anybody should create a movie that was as trippy and messed up as that one (in the nice sense,of course). After seeing 'The Method To Shadow Garden', I thought, okay, I can see where Lynch got his inspiration for Eraserhead. This is a psycho-sexual fever dream, where the protagonist arrives at his apartment, scans the room, anticipates that something potentially disturbing went on, and decides to gouge his eyes out, and retreats into a sort of garden of shadows (provided here via the means of reverse film). This is not a movie for the faint of heart, but is an necessary one for movie students who are interested in one of the early pioneers of experimental cinema.


"The Method to Shadow Garden" is an 11-minute film from over 60 years ago that was written and directed by Stan Brakhage extremely early in his career. It is very various compared to some of his soon works. There is a lead actor in here, it has sound, it is in black-and-white and it somewhat has elements of a plot and story, only to mention some aspects. However, it is still not a success in terms of filmmaking and judging from this one, I don't see a nice deal of talent. I personally found it rather bizarre and annoying than memorable or interesting. I do not think it is a deserving watch and I felt it dragged on more than one occasions. Thumbs down.



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