Prelude: Dog Star Man (1962)

Prelude: Dog Star Man




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage has labelled his 1963 film Dog Star Man his "cosmological epic." This virtually indescribable film was released in a prelude and four parts. These were not titled but dated instead: Prelude, 1962; Part One, 1963; Part Two 1964 and so forth. While toiling on this project, Brakhage also managed to finish The Art of Vision, derived from Dog Star Man leftovers, and wrote the script for Metaphors of Vision. If you're looking for a plot, you've come to the wrong … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Stan Brakhage
In Theaters:
Facets Video

News & Interviews for Prelude: Dog Star Man

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Prelude: Dog Star Man

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

A multilayered, self-consciously Joycean, naturally psychedelic epic.

Full Review… | April 29, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

Whatever one thinks, and however much the film may seem dated now in relation to Brakhage's subsequent output, it is an achievement to be reckoned with.

Full Review… | April 29, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Regarded by Brakhage fans as his masterpiece.

Full Review… | May 1, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A jaw-dropping declaration of principles.

Full Review… | April 29, 2008
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

A meditation on the individual's place in the universe.

Full Review… | April 29, 2008
Christian Science Monitor

Dog Star Man is a work of realism into which abstraction intrudes.

Full Review… | April 29, 2008

Audience Reviews for Prelude: Dog Star Man

Well, there's a hairy man with an axe (Stan Brakhage himself) and his dog, futilely hacking their way up a snowy mountain. Plus throbbing internal organs, sun flares, a lactating nipple and an infant. And it's all looped, re-looped and overlaid with insertions of abstract texture and manually doctored frames.

This film is not recommended for epileptics.

I yearned for "Dog Star Man" to hit me on a level deeper than "Whoa...trippy," but it never managed to get there. Should have I taken mushrooms first?

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


I am not a huge Brakhage fan, I prefer his hand painted work, it is pretty. Visually this has a lot to it, but I just got bored and almost fell asleep 3 or 4 times. I troopered through it, and it didn't feel all that rewarding for me.

Ken Scheck

Stan Brakhage starts out with a ~25 minute prelude of, according to the VHS jacket, a bunch of thematic elements like air, earth, wind, fire, Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Hauptman, O'Brien, Wolf and Lathrop, Dewey Cheatum and HOWE. Then he shows his wife's titties, and there's a dog in the forest! He then moves on to a roughly 25 minute part one. Shows a little bit more narrative, seems to have some tiny amount of structure. Then ADD kicks in fully, the project loses whatever steam it had and the last 3 parts are about 7 minutes each. One lousy half-star for this piece of shit.

Prelude: Dog Star Man Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Prelude: Dog Star Man on our Movie forum!