Though not a practicing Christian during his adulthood Brakhage requested a traditional Anglican service. He retired from teaching and moved to Canada in 2002 settling with his second wife Marilyn and their two sons in Victoria British Columbia. At the time of his death Brakhage was also working on the Chinese Series made by scratching directly on to film.
James Stanley Brakhage (pron. Brakhage's films are often noted for their expressiveness and lyricism. Over the course of five decades Brakhage created a large and diverse body of work exploring a variety of formats approaches and techniques that included handheld camerawork painting directly onto celluloid fast cutting in-camera editing scratching on film collage film and the use of multiple exposures.