Mothlight (1963, 4 minutes)
This is one of Brakhage’s older, and best known films. It is also one of my favourites. It is composed of hundreds of moth wings, collected from the inside of lamps and windows. Brakhage painstakingly collected them up, pressing them together between two layers of tape. The strip of tape then became the film as he had it run through a film printer. The process gnarled the original beyond further use. Luckily none was needed. The resulting film is a magnificent view of moths dancing. In his catalogues, Brakhage calls it “What a moth might see from birth to death if black were white and white were black”. However, I suggest it might be described as what a light bulb might see, hanging on the porch all night, the object of this nocturnal insect’s desire – a tragic love story.