Noted avante-garde film maker.
Born in 1933 Stan Brakhage was a music prodigy in his youth, and later an aspiring poet. Then in 1958 he broke onto the avant-garde scene in a big fuckin' way with his movie Anticipation of the Night. Brakhage accredited this film for his transformation as an artist," I grew very quickly as a film artist once I got rid of drama as prime source of inspiration."
Brakhage made some 300 films since 1952 most of which don't exist on VHS or DVD and have running times anywhere from 9 seconds to 4 hours (The Art of Vision), and most film scholars have given up on creating the complete Brakhage filmography. He's always veered away from any kind of formal narrative; his later works especially are usually painted 16mm film or light reflected through some kind of membrane, a membrane which is often glued onto the film. Imagine 2001: A Space Odyssey but without all the excitement.
Seriously though—I guess his films are what they call "an acquired taste". Personally I find it helps to stimulate an alpha wave state in the brain, however you may chose to go about doing that.
He's perhaps best known for Dog Star Man, a film which seems to be about a man climbing a steep mountain but then there's all these blobs of light and inexplicable montages. The film is feature length and divided into six chapters.
All of his films contain no music, Brakhage has some theory about it influencing the raw power of film.
Brakhage spent the 1980s and 90s teaching film studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He continued working fairly regularly up to his death at age 70 on March 9, 2003, of bladder cancer, in Victoria, British Columbia, where he spent the final year of his life.