alex mackenzie : mediaworks

think before you think, 2020

think before you think:
a portrait of rick raxlen

16mm/digital, 31 mins 2020
A portrait of film poet, animator and artist Richard Raxlen. Shot on 16mm film and digital video at his Victoria BC home and studio over the course of a year, the film follows Rick’s daily practice, uncovering the rituals and methodologies of the creative process. Mining the personal and universal nature of this life-sized project, excerpts from Rick’s films and documentation of his art practice combine with hand processed and manipulated materials to play off the rites and relaxed rigour of his unique approach to art making and to life.

“Perfectly captures Rick as he is now, yet with deep intimations of earlier times, creating a tender and deeply moving portrait. The subdued tones of his voice and characteristic understatement of his observations intensify the vibrancy of his film work, which is sensitively woven together with the various images he continues to engage with. The essential human need to externalize our felt experience throughout our lives is what stays with me, together with the metaphors on light, and suggests much about resilience and being true. A really beautiful film.”
– Marilyn Brakhage
Film archivist, writer, curator