Forgot to enter this one in on the Frameworks cal:

Sunday September 27 at 7pm
The earliest and only surviving work in Paul Sharits' filmography after a 
fairly successful attempt by Sharits to destroy all of his early efforts at 
filmmaking in "a rage of non-narrative commitment," Wintercourse  was 
fortunately rediscovered in 1985. Made while the filmmaker was a painting 
student at the University of Denver and close friends with Stan Brakhage, 
Wintercourse is heavily influenced by Brakhage's Wedlock House: An Intercourse 
(1959). Both films document the trials and tribulations of their previous 
marriages. With a light, lyrical style that stands in shocking contrast to 
later work, Wintercourse documents a relationship that is seemingly carefree 
yet full of apprehensions. Print courtesy of Canyon Cinema from a recent 
preservation by Anthology Film Archives, NY
US 1962, 16mm, b/w, silent, 12 min

Piece Mandala/End War

Originally made to be included in a program of antiwar films, Piece Mandala/End 
War occurs within Paul Sharits' period of what he referred to as his "mandala 
films," which are flicker films containing very rapidly shifting color frames 
intercut with black-and-white representational images. In this instance, still 
images of a lovemaking couple, flipping from left to right on the screen, 
create an erotic tension with the color frames in order to form "a 
meditational-visionary experience." In many ways, Piece Mandala/End War is very 
much a film of its time, of the Love Generation, with Sharits again making a 
film as a hopeful offering to humanity and his wife in what was a turbulent 
time in their marriage. Print courtesy of Anthology Film Archives, NY
US 1966, 16mm, color & b/w, 5 min


Made in collaboration with poet David Franks, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G uses flickering 
of pure color frames juxtaposed with positive and negative still images of 
Franks threatening to cut off his tongue with glitter-covered scissors and 
being scratched across the face by fingernails that leave a sparkling trail. 
Other rapidly alternating still images of eye surgery and a couple in the midst 
of intercourse are used to heighten the underlying violent, erotic and 
psychological undertones of the film and are recurrent themes that Sharits 
would repeatedly pursue in many of his films. The soundtrack is a continuous 
looped recording of Franks speaking the word "destroy" over the entire length 
of the film, which eventually becomes unrecognizable as it mutates in the 
viewer's ear into other words or phrases. The first of Sharits' mandala films 
to utilize sound in a powerful way, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G  was an attempt by the 
filmmaker to reconnect and come to terms with both his mother's suicide and the 
birth of his son, events that would have a profound impact on his future films 
as well. Print courtesy of Canyon Cinema
US 1968, 16mm, color, 12 min

Razor Blades
A dual 16mm projection of side-by-side projected images, Razor Blades was the 
last work completed in Paul Sharits' mandala cycle of flicker films, an 
exploration of many of his recurrent fixations on the elements of the cosmos, 
birth, life, sexuality, suicide, death and rebirth. A rapid staccato siege of 
flickering still images, influenced by Sharits' involvement in Fluxus along 
with elements of Pop Art, appear and alternate in split-second succession. 
Fourteen loops are projected against each other on both projectors, with only 
the first and last loops repeating, thus ideally creating an infinite loop 
where "metric time is destroyed." A powerful and hypnotizing cacophony of 
competing sounds and images is unleashed, with occasional moments of 
synchronization. Referencing the tools used by filmmakers to edit their films, 
Razor Blades also reflects the trauma of the act on Sharits, who referred to 
the editing process and its effects as "love wounds."
US 1966, 16mm, color, 25 min

Brittany Gravely
Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA  02138
p 617-496-3211 / f 617-496-6750 / 
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