by Paul SHARITS
1982 / color / sound / 1S / 24' 00
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.