Pat O’Neill

Pat O’Neill – Trouble In The Image (1996)

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Trouble in the Image is a collection of visual and auditory ideas, many of which seem to radiate a sense of internal conflict, irony and rage. The film has no continuing characters, but is made up of dozens of performances dislodged from other contexts. These are often relocated into contemporary industrial landscapes, or interrupted by the chopping, shredding, or flattening of special-effects technology turned against itself. All is not lost, however. The reward is to be found in immersion within a space of complex and intricate formal relationships, where subject matter is almost irrelevant. The film was accumulated over a seventeen-year period by a filmmaker who continues to insist that film can be an art form independent of storytelling.
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Pat O’Neill – Horizontal Boundaries (1997)

Horizontal Boundaries takes on Los Angeles as an uncertain subject, a displaced location in space and time. Shot in and around the city and other locations in California with “the intent to produce “synthetic” depictions of locations made up of multiple and disparate parts,” O’Neill combines the visual effects with a visceral soundtrack that demands the total attention of the viewer. As O’Neill writes, the goal is to “present an image that is both clearly understood and obviously altered. Altering the imagery from its original photographic state raises inevitable questions concerning its reception: What are we to believe? How is a representation changed by proximity with another? How does contradiction, itself, represent our experience?” And goes on to point out that, “My films share some of the concerns of other experimental filmmakers worldwide: defining parameters for the representation of space and time, exploiting personal experience as metaphor, using archival materials in a restated context.” – Cherry and Martin Read More »

Pat O’Neill – Water and Power (1989)

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Pat O’Neill’s first 35mm feature, Water and Power, is widely regarded as a masterpiece. By using a series of visually and aurally dense tableaux created with advanced motion control, optical printing and animation techniques, the film explores the complex battle for natural resources waged between Los Angeles and the Owens Valley. Read More »

Pat O’Neill – Screen (1969)

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Screen (Pat O’Neill, 1969, digital (originally 16mm), color, silent, 4min.)
A less-well known work by O’Neill, originally intended as an installation.
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