Paul Sharits

Wintercourse (1962) 16mm, black and white, 12 min

Genre: Experimental

Discovered in summer of 1985, of a set of "haiku-imagistic films" I did before coming to my characteristic style, as in RAY GUN VIRUS; I thought I'd destroyed all these pre-pure films, in about 1969-1970, the time of my separation from my first marriage. The film concerns my marriage, which lasted seven years; it was shot during its first year, when I was a painting student at the University of Denver. It is full of apprehensions, in a montage style which counterposes "opposites": sexuality and religion; seasonal opposites; hopefulness undercut by fears of eventual separation (the image of a statue of two women, arm in arm, reading a book). I find it visually and kinetically interesting, after all these years.

Rental: $25.00
16mm Rental: $25.00

Paul Sharits

Razor Blades (1968) 16mm, color, 25 min

Genre: Experimental

Produced in association with the American Film Institute. Projection instructions: There is sound on both reels. Place external speakers on either side of the auditorium for 'stereo' effect. Should be loud. Place identical projectors side-by-side and align the two images side-by-side.

"Compared to Tony Conrad's THE FLICKER and Michael Snow's WAVELENGTH, RAZOR BLADES is a kind of BEN-HUR of structural films, employing not only abstract designs but also little, almost Vanderbeekian cutouts of identifiable things (a strawberry sundae, a penis) and people (a man apparently cutting his wrist). The effect is extraordinarily unsettling as the mind tries desperately to make intelligent connections between recognizable images, while at the same time it automatically falls into the pace of light explosions... Just where films such as RAZOR BLADES might lead, I've no idea. It may be, of course, that they don't have to lead anywhere. In any case I'm glad that the American Film Institute has seen fit to sponsor Sharits, and that the Whitney has elected to show the results..." -Vincent Canby, New York Times

General projection instructions for 2-screen works: These works are not difficult or complicated to screen, as long as instructions are followed carefully; there are instructions with each listing here and graphic instructions will be sent along with each film piece. There are a few important, general principles which apply to all the film pieces: 1) Both projectors should be the same model, with identical lenses and identical bulbs (most projectors are supplied with a 750 watt bulb; this is too dim--use at least a 1,000 watt bulb); 2) Most of the pieces have sound on both reels; be sure that both projectors have external speakers (sometimes it is necessary to use the auditorium speaker and one external speaker); 3) Before threading the projectors, using the lights of the projectors, set up projectors: a) Place the projectors so that there is no keystoning (i.e., make sure both images are perfect rectangles); b) Align the light rectangles carefully, avoiding tilted images; c) When everything is in order, then thread up the films. -PS

Rental: $100.00
16mm Rental: $100.00

Paul Sharits

Piece Mandala/End War (1966) 16mm, color & b/w, 5 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Erotic

Soundtrack by Bob Grimes. Blank color frequencies space out and optically feed into black and white images of one lovemaking act which is seen simultaneously from both sides of its space and both ends of its time. "Thanks for the strip ... it IS that/cut to the bone of some matter that does really concern me: how a man and a woman meet nakedly head-on among the colors ... lovely: I can hardly wait to see the entirety of that vision ...." -- Stan Brakhage "PIECE MANDALA/END WAR reminds me very much of the back light (GoKo) which illuminates the spirit of Buddha -- yet no image of Buddha appears; rather, a couple of naked bodies. I have never imagined that GoKo could really happen and illuminate as in this film." -- Takahiko Iimura, Film Art

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Paul Sharits

Ray Gun Virus (1966) 16mm, color, 14 min

Genre: Experimental

Although affirming projector, projection beam, screen, emulsion, film frame structure, etc., this is not an "abstract film"/projector as pistol/time-colored pills/yes=no/mental suicide and then, rebirth as self-projection. "... just colors and strobe ... 'light-color energy patterns (analogies of neural transmission systems) generate internal color-time shape and allow the viewer to become aware of the electrical-chemical functionings of his own nervous system' ... It's true." - David Curtis, International Times "RAY GUN VIRUS is a work in which no images appear yet one can get pure identity on film. ... projected film itself makes the viewer aware of where he stands. RAY GUN VIRUS is not so-called 'Psychedelic Cinema' but even more and goes beyond it through Sharits' bright clarification of the media." -- Takahiko Iimura, Film Art Exhibition: Fourth Int'l Experimental Film Competition, Knokke-Le-Zoute; "Twenty Years of American Personal Film" anthology, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 1966. Collections: Museum of Modern Art, NY; Royal Archive of Belgium.

Rental: $40.00
16mm Rental: $40.00

Paul Sharits

N:O:T:H:I:N:G (1968) 16mm, color, 35 min

Genre: Experimental

Based, in part, on the Tibetan Mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas / a journey toward the center of pure consciousness (Dharma-Dhatu Wisdom) / space and motion generated rather than illustrated / time-color energy create virtual shape / in negative time, growth is inverse decay. "The screen, illuminated by Paul Sharits' N:O:T:H:I:N:G, seems to assume a spherical shape, at times -- due, I think, to a pearl-like quality of light his flash-frames create ... a baroque pearl, one might say - wondrous! ... One of the most beautiful films I've seen." -- Stan Brakhage "You are pulled into the world of color, your color senses are expanded, enriched. You become aware of changes, of tones around your own daily reality. Your vision is changed. You begin to see light on objects around you. ... Your experience range is expanded. You have gained a new insight. You have become a richer human being." -- Jonas Mekas "In essence there are only three flicker films of importance, ARNULF RAINER, THE FLICKER, and N:O:T:H:I:N:G. ... In terms of the subject we have discussed here, it is Sharits' N:O:T:H:I:N:G that opens the field for the structural film with a flicker base." -- P. Adams Sitney

Rental: $100.00
16mm Rental: $100.00

Paul Sharits

T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (1968) 16mm, color, 12 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: psychology_mental health, structural

Starring poet David Franks whose voice appears on soundtrack/an uncutting and unscratching mandala. "Merges violence with purity." -- P. Adams Sitney "Surrealist tour-de-force." -- Parker Tyler On "10 Best Films of 1969" lists of Soren Agenoux and Jonas Mekas.

Rental: $50.00
16mm Rental: $50.00

Paul Sharits

S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED (1971) 16mm, color, 42 min

Genre: Experimental

A conceptual lap dissolve from "water currents" to "film strip current"/Dedicated to my son, Christopher. "Yes. S:S:S:S:S:S is beautiful. The successive scratchings of the stream-image film is very powerful vandalism. The film is a very complete organism with all the possible levels really recognized." -- Michael Snow "In his earlier flicker films, Sharits expores the mechanisms of perception and projection, and now he takes his investigations to their logical extreme - to the nature of the film-strip itself. ... The fascination and energy of the film derive from its multi-dimensional dialectics, in which all available systems of experience are contrasted with their logical opposites/complements: sound against vision, film as representation against film as object, circular against linear structure, progression against regression, past against whole, meaning against abstraction." -- David James, Art & Cinema Collection: Anthology Film Archives; Centre National D'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Rental: $150.00
16mm Rental: $150

Paul Sharits

Inferential Current (1971) 16mm, color, 8 min

Genre: Experimental

A mapping of an image of the linear passage of "16mm film frames" and "emulsion scratches" onto an actual 16mm film strip (the unperceived film "print") / the aural word "miscellaneous" is extended to a length of eight minutes by serial fragmentation, looping, staggering and overlaying / a variational but non-developmental strand thru time. / Dedicated to Lynda Benglis. "Like S:S:S:S:S:S, INFERENTIAL CURRENT is concerned with the movement of film through the projector and with the distinction between the film strip itself and its image, as it appears on the screen. In this film, the image is that of a whole film strip, with sprocket holes. The movement of the sprocket holes shift speeds and creates illusions of motions (reversals of direction, etc.) but also alludes to the motion of the actual movement of the actual film going through the projector. There is an inter-play of two generations of vertical scratches, which provides an ironic effect." -- David James, Art & Cinema

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Paul Sharits

Analytical Studies I: The Film Frame (1976) 16mm, color, 25 min

Genre: Experimental

A set of short pure color studies, usually exploring one dominant hue. Most of these works were studies for longer projects. The last four "migraine" studies are rhythmically based around the five-cycle-per-second oscillation pulse of the typical fortification illusions preceding a migraine attack; this onset period, with its visually dynamic effects, is reported to be a quite vibrant and enjoyable state. 1. Modular Blue 2. Green Matrix 3. White Field 4. Orange Field 5. Pink Modulation A 6. Pink Modulation B 7. Temporal Frame A 8. Migraine Onset A 9. Migraine Onset B 10. Migraine Onset C 11. Migraine Onset D. (After titles, focus should be shifted to sharpen the edges of the screen.) Collection: Centre National D'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris

Rental: $57.00
16mm Rental: $57.00

Paul Sharits

Analytical Studies II: Un-Frame-Lines (1976) 16mm, color, 30.00 min

Genre: Experimental

A highly varied and playful series of short sketches involving induced camera "mistakes," printing "errors" and various "assaults" upon film (some rephotographed) which in one way or another reveal the process/materiality of cinema. The "unframing" called for in this film (bringing the top frame line down into the viewing area as is possible by adjusting the projector framer) is a way of heightening the intended unmasking of the usually hidden vulnerability/fragility of the film strip.

Rental: $69.00
16mm Rental: $69.00

Paul Sharits

Axiomatic Granularity (1973) 16mm, color, 20 min

Genre: Experimental

Dedicated to Jonas Mekas. "There is a paradox in such artistically special (and significant) films as Sharits' very real and reflexively beautiful AXIOMATIC GRANULARITY. It is that in becoming so accessible and authentic through its refusal to be anything but itself -- emulsion grain seen in color and movement -- the film for most viewers is likely to be impenetrable ... the film begins to evoke a quiet flow of thought. That thought, however, is repeatedly returned to the light perceived on the screen as the film calls attention to itself through the random appearances of scratches, becoming simply and pleasantly what it is, refreshingly nothing more." -- Anthony Bannon, Buffalo Evening News Collection: Centre National D'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris

Rental: $46.00
16mm Rental: $46.00

Paul Sharits

Analytical Studies III Color Frame Passages (1974) 16mm, color, 22 min

Genre: Experimental

The film consists of seven sections: the first section, "Specimen I," a "flicker" film, is the subject for the other sections of ANALYTICAL STUDIES III. ... "Specimen I," as with most of my other works, also exists as a "Frozen Film Frame," wherein the entire footage of the film is cut into strips and aligned serially between sheets of clear plexiglas. Section I: "Specimen" Three spectral cycles intersecting into a "flicker" work that is the basis of ... all that follows in this film. Section II: "Divergent Strip Vectors" Film of the first film. Two strips shot in real time are superimposed, one moving upward, the other downward. Other colors are created. Changes in speed cause various kinds of illusions. Section III: "Document" A documentation of how the films were shot. Shows Sharits and two assistants at work on Synchronousoundtracks. The film strip that they are shooting is superimposed over their images. Section IV: "Strip in Strip" A superimposition of one strip image over and a bit inside another strip image. Section V: "Strip of Strip, A" Not a superimposition of two strips but rather a document of an actual strip, moving upward, containing the image of another film strip, also moving upward, blurring at various speeds in rephotography. Section VI: "Strip of Strip, B" Same as Section V but the inner strip image is moving downward while the actual strip containing it is moving upward. Section VII: "Strip of Strip of Strip B" A document of Section VI; three film strip images and sprocket sets, one within another.

Rental: $50.00
16mm Rental: $50.00

Paul Sharits

Synchronoussoundtracks (1974) 16mm, color, 33 min

Genre: Experimental

Two-screen projection, sound on both reels.

Rental: $120.00
16mm Rental: $120.00

Paul Sharits

Color Sound Frames (Winding) (1974) 16mm, color, 22 min

Genre: Experimental

"Paul Sharits' new film COLOR SOUND FRAMES ... is a film in which Sharits sums up his researches in the area of film strip (in opposition to the individual frames). The film strips move horizontally and vertically; two strips move simultaneously in opposite directions; variations in color; action of sprocket-holes. Very methodically and scientifically he covers the area .... COLOR SOUND FRAMES advances one area of cinema or one area of researches in cinema (call it art if you wish) to a new climax, to a new peak: his exploration is so total, so perfect." -- Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice "These films allude to what happens in your head as much as to what sits up on the flat plane of the screen. Obviously, Sharits has created a need for a vocabulary of operational light terms, that is, how we experience light in overlapping planes in time, the patterns that arise out of repeating light shapes and sounds, the magic of incantation and reification known to every Shaman and ritualistic artist before there was a word 'Esthetics' or even a written language. Sharits employs modern technology to say something very deep, very profound and very beautiful." -- Leonard Horowitz, "Independent Films: Light/Environment," The Soho Weekly News Collection: Anthology Film Archives

Rental: $61.00
16mm Rental: $61.00

Paul Sharits

Apparent Motion (1975) 16mm, color, 28 min

Genre: Experimental

Production assistance: Creative Artists Public Service Program (CAPS). The images for this project were first obtained by enlarging, with an optical printer, frames of evenly distributed grain particles from a black and white strip of underexposed 8mm Tri-X film. The resulting 16mm black and white Plus-X copy was again blown up with an optical printer to make a negative on high contrast stock. In the final stage, using an optical printer, color gels were employed to code each of the up-to-six layers of superimposed images of grain fields; this was recorded on fine grain Ektachrome Commercial color stock. What began as dark grain particles in relatively clear (light toned) emulsion, in the 8mm specimen, at the last stage, have become colored images of grain particles in a dark field. What I am proposing in this project is that even at the infrastructural level -- and contrary to its intended purposes -- the bases of film's illusionistic movement can be discerned. One might hypothesize that film is, in this respect, thoroughly illusional, on all levels from its most obvious recorded-image plateaus to its most primary image-forming depths.

Rental: $60.00
16mm Rental: $60.00

Paul Sharits

Shutter Interface (1975) 16mm, color, 24 min

Genre: Experimental

Two-screen projection, sound on both tracks.

Rental: $90.00
16mm Rental: $90.00

Paul Sharits

Analytical Studies IV: Blank Color Frames (1976) 16mm, color, 20 min

Genre: Experimental

Contains: 1. Specimen II 2. Specimen III 3. Specimen IV 4. Diagonal Temporality B 5. Diagonal Temporality C 6. Temporal Frame B Like ANALYTICAL STUDIES I, these short works each develop a different rhythmic and/or melodic idea using only rapid successions of color frames. The "Specimens" are called such because they are the "subjects" of (rephotography) analysis: "Specimen II" was intended to be the subject for the film EPISODIC GENERATION - although the footage, in itself, was successful, I did not find it adequate for its intended purpose; therefore, "Specimen IV" was created and was used (rephotographed) for EPISODIC GENERATION. The other works were studies for sections of the film DECLARATIVE MODE. (After titles, focus should be shifted to sharpen the edges of the screen.) Note: All of the above films in the ANALYTICAL STUDIES SERIES may be projected at silent speed as well as sound speed.

Rental: $44.00
16mm Rental: $44.00

Paul Sharits

Dream Displacement (1976) 16mm, color, 25 min

Genre: Experimental

Two-screen projection, stereo sound.

Rental: $80.00
16mm Rental: $80.00

Paul Sharits

Epileptic Seizure Comparison (1976) 16mm, color, 34 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Psychology & Mental Health, structural

"Beauty shall be convulsive." -- Andre Breton Produced with the aid of a CAPS Award (1978). Sound portion made possible by the facilities of the Computer Science Center at Carnegie Mellon University and ZBS Foundation (through funding by the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts). The films are of two patients, extracted from a medical film study of brain wave activity during seizures. Of course, the patients volunteered for these tests. The black and white footage of each patient entering convulsive stages was temporally and tonally articulated on an optical printer and rhythmic pure color frames were added to these images. Everything was done to allow the viewer to move beyond mere voyeurism and actually enter into the convulsive state, to allow a deeper empathy for the condition and to also, hopefully, experience the ecstatic aspect of such paroxysm.

Rental: $150.00
16mm Rental: $150.00

Paul Sharits

Tails (1976) 16mm, color, 5 min

Genre: Experimental

A series of tail ends of varied strips of film, with sometimes recognizable images dissolving into light flares, appear to run through and off of a projector. A romantic "narrative," suggesting an "ending," is inferred. Note: This film may be projected at either silent or sound speed.

Rental: $20.00
16mm Rental: $20.00

Paul Sharits

Declarative Mode (1977) 16mm, color, 39 min

Genre: Experimental

Note: now single screen only. Dedicated to Gerald O'Grady. This work was made possible by a Bicentennial Grant by the N.E.A. and the N.Y. State Council on the Arts. "This film, rather than being 'structural,' is 'narrative like.' We feel as if we are on some sort of journey, where we never know/predict what is to 'happen' next. It is engaging, like a novel full of surprises. The 'narrative' feeling is like a soap opera, which just keeps twisting and turning, with no apparent resolution intended (but there _is_ a closure on the purely formal level), as opposed to say _Miami Vice_ wherein the dramatic line moves towards and achieves a weekly resolution. This work prefigures a long series of 30 min. chapters in a 'Light Novel,' PASSARE, which I am presently working on (which could finally reach 40 hours in total length before I die). Aside from a recurrent red, white and blue phrase, there is no repetition in the film (repetition conventionally provides structural order)." - P.S. "With colors, therefore, in reciprocal relationships with each other within space and over time, Sharits creates new hues not actually present upon the film through their co-temporal blending and through after-image retention. It's a a complex phenomenon that yields sublime transitions across a spectral range, while the inner frame pulses with illusionistic movement as the hues change from warm to cool." - Anthony Bannon, _Buffalo Evening News_.

Rental: $100.00
16mm Rental: $100.00

Paul Sharits

Brancusi's Sculpture Ensemble At Tirgu Jiu (1984) 16mm, color, 21 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: environment_nature

This film is a "chronicle" of a visit I made in 1977 to Romania to experience three of Brancusi's most famous sculptures: "The Endless Column"; "The Gate of the Kiss"; "The Table of Silence"; (and the lesser known "Arcade of Pedestals," the modular system of stools which lead from the "Gate" to the "Table"). These works are in the small, rural town of Tirgu Jiu, not far from the village of Hobitza (where Brancusi was born and spent his childhood). These works are shown in photographs and discussed as totally autonomous "abstract" sculptures simply placed conveniently around the town; but, in fact, they are also parts of a larger and very specific environmental (and symbolic) motif. Their placement suggests a metaphysical continuum; they span the boundaries of the town and while aligned in a (virtual) straight line, all three cannot be seen from any single point of view, so there is a temporal unfolding as one moves through the town to experience the relationship. "There should be other films like this about works of art." -- Lynda Benglis, Sculptor

Rental: $80.00
16mm Rental: $80.00

Paul Sharits

Episodic Generation (1978) 16mm, color, 30.00 min

Genre: Experimental

The visual "degeneration" of the image ... through successive rephotography is paralleled by the compression of verbal information to the point of its loss of legibility; yet, both the "degenerated" sound and image are perceptually engaging, even in the most advanced stages of "degeneration." It is obvious why the film has its title, because of the strategies of its coming into being, but, paradoxically, at the level of effect, its dynamics arise from its "Episodic Degeneration."

Rental: $69.00
16mm Rental: $69.00

Paul Sharits

3rd Degree (1982) 16mm, color, 24 min

Genre: Experimental

Special thanks to: Mary Ann Bruno (actress); Susan Mann (voice); Robert Franki (simulation of rattlesnake sound); Ken Rowe (sound production assistance); and Steve Gallagher (visual production and general assistance). In Part 1 there is an image of a moving strip of film, showing sequences of a close-up of a match being waved somewhat aggressively in front of a young woman's apprehensive face. The soundtrack: occasional match striking and rattlesnake warnings and the words, "Look, I won't talk."... The second part is the first part rephotographed .... In Part III we see the rephotographed image of Part II, which contains Part I, so it is a film of a film (of a film of the original film) .... The film is "about" the fragility of the film medium and human vulnerability; both the filmic and the human images resist threat/intimidation/mutilation: the victim is defiant and the film strip also struggles on, both "under fire." It is a somewhat violent drama but it is also an ironically comic work and there is a formal beauty in the destructiveness of the burning film. While the film (from section to section) develops, becomes more visually complex, successively regenerates (as the figurative images degenerate), it nevertheless implies not finality; rather, 3RD DEGREE implies endurability, extension and on-goingness.

Rental: $55.00
16mm Rental: $55.00

Paul Sharits

Bad Burns (1982) 16mm, color, 6 min

Genre: Experimental

Two reels of mis-takes in shooting Part II of 3RD DEGREE. Film was loaded in camera improperly and the image slides about off-center and becomes blurred -- creating some rather amusing and mysterious imagery. A made "found" object.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Paul Sharits

Rapture (1987) VHS NTSC, color, 17 min

Genre: Experimental

"RAPTURE is a fierce vision of a Dionysian experience, a tightly controlled visual statement about the abandonment of self to heightened transportive states. It is also an exploration of the similarity between 'religious' and 'visionary' ecstasy and psychotic states." -- CEPA (Buffalo) "There is another antecedent for this videotape contained in the remarkable paper print collection of films in the Library of Congress that includes a series of clinical documents of people afflicted with epilepsy filmed at the turn of the century. Those films present a paradox for the viewer: Observing events (seizures) where pain remains trapped mutely and invisibly within the confines of the body even as its shadow is projected as a measurable mass across the indexical grid of the cinematic recording device. I imagine RAPTURE as another look at the inarticulateness of pain -- the inadequacies of the recording device for fixing the radical subjectivity of pain ... or ecstasy. In RAPTURE we are presented with a wounded and relentlessly objectified body demonstrating, with almost clinical control, the varieties of its own objectification." -- Barbara Lattanzi Exhibition: CEPA Video Program, Buffalo; Kino Arsenal; Kino Eis Zeit; Infermental 7 (traveling exhibition of world video); Offensive Video Kunst, Dortmund, West Germany; London Film Festival; Int'l Audio Visual Experimental Festival, Arnhem, Holland; SF Cinematheque.

Rental: $60.00
VHS NTSC Rental: $60.00

Paul Sharits

Mandala Films (1966-1968) DVD PAL, Color, 53 min

Genre: Experimental

Piece Mandala / End War, 1966, color, silent, 5 min. N:O:T:H:I:N:G, 1968, color, sound, 36 min. T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G, 1968, color, sound, 12 min.

DVD PAL Sale: $32.00 Individual Home-Use Only

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