Explaining DSM’s Film World

  • Alberto BaraccoEmail author


Interpreters of Brakhage’s work agree in considering as fundamental the poetic and mythological aspects of Dog Star Man. On the basis of this common ground, the history of Dog Star Man’s film world does not clearly reveal a Ricœurian conflict of interpretations. This happens essentially for three main reasons. First, Brakhage himself offered us his theoretical comments on the film and they represent an important reference for interpreters. Second, Brakhage adopted the expressive and distinctive elements of the artistic movement to which he belonged. According to Sitney (2002), both lyric and mythopoeic films are specific forms of American Avant-garde Cinema, and many film scholars adopted the same classification in their interpretations of Dog Star Man. Third, the two characteristics, especially the poetic, are suitable for personal visual perceptions and emotional suggestions, but it is difficult and fruitless to try to make analytical comparisons between them. Nevertheless, with regard to its mythological aspect, interpretations of the figure of the newborn in Part 2, the relation and union of bodies in Part 3, and the final images of Part 4 appear to be problematic and require a hermeneutic comparison between different interpretive perspectives.


Anti-narrative film Hypnagogic vision Avant-garde cinema History of interpretations 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TurinTurinItaly

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