The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes Reviews

  • Jan 27, 2015

    A classic example of "Shockumentary". Despite the interesting symbolism of this film, i couldn't help but feel that it was exploitative in showing these dead bodies and calling it "art". I do however feel that this, and "Aftermath" (1994) both have similar ideas but are both quite a tough watch, again though, very powerful in it's message.

    A classic example of "Shockumentary". Despite the interesting symbolism of this film, i couldn't help but feel that it was exploitative in showing these dead bodies and calling it "art". I do however feel that this, and "Aftermath" (1994) both have similar ideas but are both quite a tough watch, again though, very powerful in it's message.

  • Aug 11, 2014

    I will probably never need to watch this movie again. The images will be burned into my mind for a long time. One of the ultimate, raw confrontations with death ever put to film. Damn.

    I will probably never need to watch this movie again. The images will be burned into my mind for a long time. One of the ultimate, raw confrontations with death ever put to film. Damn.

  • Apr 05, 2014

    An autopsy filmed with no sound. It's quite gruesome and hard to watch. "In adding a literal deconstruction of man to the metaphorical one that graces so many works of art, Brakhage has created with "Act" the ultimate horror film, for better or worse."

    An autopsy filmed with no sound. It's quite gruesome and hard to watch. "In adding a literal deconstruction of man to the metaphorical one that graces so many works of art, Brakhage has created with "Act" the ultimate horror film, for better or worse."

  • Aug 15, 2010

    A terrifyingly naked and matter-of-fact look something that we tend to take for granted: what happens to our bodies after we die. Few films carry this amount of shock value in so short a time, and even by modern standards it is unparalleled in its depiction of what one might call gore; nevertheless, it is a documentary of unparalleled accuracy. Jean-Luc Godard once said that every edit is a lie, and he's completely right. Documentary is perhaps the best example of this policy, as the events therein, though taken from real situations, are chopped up to suit the director's vision. Even worse, when people know they are being filmed, they act much differently than they would in real life. This film's protagonists are corpses in a mortuary who cannot primp or present themselves as they'd like to be. With positively no sound, the images retain an knockout impact and the editing emerges as truly being for the purpose of moving the proceedings along. Many who watch this film may state that Brakhage is a voyeuristic, disgusting pervert with no respect for humanity or the sacred nature of death. The last part may be true, but it's plain to see that the intention here is not to shock or teach any lessons. It's simply a glimpse of something you may never see, or want to see, in every day life.

    A terrifyingly naked and matter-of-fact look something that we tend to take for granted: what happens to our bodies after we die. Few films carry this amount of shock value in so short a time, and even by modern standards it is unparalleled in its depiction of what one might call gore; nevertheless, it is a documentary of unparalleled accuracy. Jean-Luc Godard once said that every edit is a lie, and he's completely right. Documentary is perhaps the best example of this policy, as the events therein, though taken from real situations, are chopped up to suit the director's vision. Even worse, when people know they are being filmed, they act much differently than they would in real life. This film's protagonists are corpses in a mortuary who cannot primp or present themselves as they'd like to be. With positively no sound, the images retain an knockout impact and the editing emerges as truly being for the purpose of moving the proceedings along. Many who watch this film may state that Brakhage is a voyeuristic, disgusting pervert with no respect for humanity or the sacred nature of death. The last part may be true, but it's plain to see that the intention here is not to shock or teach any lessons. It's simply a glimpse of something you may never see, or want to see, in every day life.

  • Jul 18, 2010

    Challenging, maybe a difficult watch for some viewers or unintentionally thrilling for the morbid voyeur. Anonymous morgue personnel go about their work on equally faceless bodies, all of which are shot in a frank manner bereft of stylistic flourish or arthouse pretension. In this way, it is respectful and professional in the manner of the staff on camera and all are filmed with an attention to detail without personality or facial expression. This may lead those so inclined to reflect broadly on mortality or their own subjective existence, as the lack of any sound evokes such reactions quite easily. Essentially, it's all in the title which reflects the derivation of the word autopsy.

    Challenging, maybe a difficult watch for some viewers or unintentionally thrilling for the morbid voyeur. Anonymous morgue personnel go about their work on equally faceless bodies, all of which are shot in a frank manner bereft of stylistic flourish or arthouse pretension. In this way, it is respectful and professional in the manner of the staff on camera and all are filmed with an attention to detail without personality or facial expression. This may lead those so inclined to reflect broadly on mortality or their own subjective existence, as the lack of any sound evokes such reactions quite easily. Essentially, it's all in the title which reflects the derivation of the word autopsy.

  • Edgar C Super Reviewer
    Mar 09, 2010

    Brakhage analyzes the perfect machine that the human body represents. With a minimalist approach and a fascination towards the body so great that the film overflows with admiration, The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes refers to the act of beholding the unbelievable. Often confused with nauseating gore and vomit-inducing, "hard to watch" images, this fascinating short approaches the realm of perfection. A dark aura is perceived throughout, but it is balanced out by breathtaking and beautiful images. 99/100

    Brakhage analyzes the perfect machine that the human body represents. With a minimalist approach and a fascination towards the body so great that the film overflows with admiration, The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes refers to the act of beholding the unbelievable. Often confused with nauseating gore and vomit-inducing, "hard to watch" images, this fascinating short approaches the realm of perfection. A dark aura is perceived throughout, but it is balanced out by breathtaking and beautiful images. 99/100

  • Jun 11, 2009

    Short but very effective. Real-live autopsies, hands burrowing about. This coming off as interesting as opposed to normally off-putting is probably an indication of my career path. Brakhage said he muted it because it would've been too intense or probably exploitative; this has given the film a nihilistic and despairing tone.

    Short but very effective. Real-live autopsies, hands burrowing about. This coming off as interesting as opposed to normally off-putting is probably an indication of my career path. Brakhage said he muted it because it would've been too intense or probably exploitative; this has given the film a nihilistic and despairing tone.

  • Jun 03, 2009

    so let me preface this by saying this is pretty much not something anyone wants to see. perhaps at least for pleasure. the footage of this film is comprised almost entirely of autopsies. and not the kind you see on csi of really pretty people with stitches going down their chests. these are very regular people. it is incredibly unsentimental about the human body. however, aside from even its educational merits (which, im sure you can find better footage of autopsies if biology is your only interest here), it is a poetic film in its own way. brakhage thought of himself as a poet with a film camera in hand. weak stomachs beware, but brave, poetic souls take notice.

    so let me preface this by saying this is pretty much not something anyone wants to see. perhaps at least for pleasure. the footage of this film is comprised almost entirely of autopsies. and not the kind you see on csi of really pretty people with stitches going down their chests. these are very regular people. it is incredibly unsentimental about the human body. however, aside from even its educational merits (which, im sure you can find better footage of autopsies if biology is your only interest here), it is a poetic film in its own way. brakhage thought of himself as a poet with a film camera in hand. weak stomachs beware, but brave, poetic souls take notice.

  • May 20, 2009

    This is definitely one of the most repugnant, nauseating, and vomit-inducing films I've come across, but I love how upfront it is with actual death. That aspect of it blew my mind.

    This is definitely one of the most repugnant, nauseating, and vomit-inducing films I've come across, but I love how upfront it is with actual death. That aspect of it blew my mind.

  • Dec 08, 2008

    I saw it. ..er, most of it. a long time ago. how can one rate such a unique and certainly not "enjoyable" film?

    I saw it. ..er, most of it. a long time ago. how can one rate such a unique and certainly not "enjoyable" film?