Paul Sharits Film Night
Paul Sharits (1943 - 1993)
American avant-garde/experimental filmmaker, artist, and professor of media studies, Paul Sharits is widely known for his structural films, the use of multiple projectors, infinite film loops, experimental soundtracks, and interventions at the level of the filmstrip in order to realize his elemental mode of cinematic presentation. In in mid to late 60's Sharits made a number of "flicker" films which will be the focus of the evening.
1) Piece Mandala/End War, a film by Paul Sharits (1966) 5 min.
'Piece Mandala is not narrative drama; instead it is meant to provide a short but intense meditative experience. “Meditative” implies suspension of linear time and spatial direction; circularity and simultaneity are basic characteristics of mandalas, the most effective tools for turning perception inward. In this temporal mandala, blank color frequencies space out and optically feed into black and white images of one love-making gesture which is seen simultaneously from both sides of its space and both ends of its time. Color structure is linear-directional but implies a largely infinite cycle; light-energy and image frequencies induce rhythms related to the psychophysical experience of the creative act of cunnilingus. Conflict and tension are natural in a yin/yang universe but atomic structure, yab/yum and other dynamic equilibrium systems make more cosmic sense as conflict models than do the destructive orgasms the United States is presently having in Vietnam.'
2) Paul Sharits Television Interview with Paul O Grady (1976) 28 min.
This interview includes excerpts of Paul Sharits films.
3)T:O:U:C:H:I:N:G (1968) 12 mins
'I am not at all interested in the mystical symbolism of Buddhism, only in its strong, intuitively developed imagistic power. In a sense, I am more interested in the mantra because unlike the mandala and yantra forms which are full of such symbols, the mantra is often nearly pure nonsense – yet it has intense potency psychologically, aesthetically and physiologically. The mantra used upon reaching the “thig le” of the Mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas is the simple “Om” – a steady vibrational hum.'
Both quotes taken from:
Notes on Films/1966-68 by Paul Sharits
Published in Film Culture 47, Summer 1969, p.13-16.