New York

Pat O’Neill

Film Forum

Pat O’Neill’s experimental films carry the exploration of collage into a dimension only implied by static pieces. Yet dealing with movement and image devoid of storyline is no easy task. Movement itself is attention-getting, compelling, hypnotizing—the difference between looking at a picture of a leaf and following its journey downstream. Movement immediately adds an increased attention-span, a fascination with a course of action.

The artist-filmmaker speaking in abstract symbols has a lot of time in which to capture his viewers, and also more than enough time to bore them. Nothing is so distressing as being compelled to watch film movement without understanding the reason to continue watching. O’Neill’s particular problem has been his fascination with the mechanics of optical printing and special effects, to the extent that many early pieces are exercises in the virtuosity of technology,

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