In 1976, Agnes Martin filmed Gabriel, her only completed cinematic work. Photographed in California, Colorado, and New Mexico with an Aeroflex camera, it follows a ten-year-old boy, played by Peter Mayne, as he wanders aimlessly across varied landscapes. These scenes are interspersed with sequences of running creeks, fields of flowers, and excerpts of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. For Martin, her film was about “happiness, innocence, and beauty…it’s about this little boy who climbs a mountain and all the beautiful things he sees” and was made “to protest the commercial films being negative, [those that are] about deception and deceit and violence.” The title references the Biblical Archangel, Gabriel, who symbolized purity.
Dir. Agnes Martin, 1976, 78 mins.