Window Water Baby Moving

Director: Stan Brakhage
Year Released: 1959
Rating: 4.0

Unquestionably my favorite Brakhage film on the "by Brakhage" DVD release, showing the birth of his first child in extreme detail and the courage of his (then) wife to allow herself to be so completely exposed to his camera's gaze (Brakhage's daughter was rendered 'immortal' - if that's what being filmed does to a person - by having her first seconds of 'life' and first breath of air permanently recorded). It's the other side of the proverbial coin that contains 1971's The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes, and comparing the two may be unsettling but is certainly realistic: this film shows the magic of existence and the aura of living; that explores the shells of the human body after everything we think we are has been removed by doctors' hands. If I say I prefer this film to that one, it's because I'd rather witness happiness rather than the unspoken horror of being dismantled. Window Water Baby Moving also has an implied punch line: if you thought your parents were invasive and embarrassing, what if thousands of cineastes had the chance to see you emerge from your mother's womb? "Daaadd! Nobody wants to watch that!"