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de François MIRON
2014 / Vidéo / couleur / sonore / 1E / 85' 00
Long after his premature death, the impact of Paul Sharits lingers on. The prominent iconoclast and innovator provoked with fast-flickering, pulsating, colourful mosaics. The many interviews and testimonies are also a portrait of a generation of leading voices in experimental filmmaking.
In the mid sixties Paul Sharits (1943-1993) started to explore the potential of the flicker. In the decades that followed, Sharits was strickingly persistent in pursueing the total deconstruction of the parameters of 16mm film into such novel forms as multiple projection installations, frozen film frames caught inbetween plexiglass sheets, and ink coloured partitions for abstract films. The ultimate impact of the work was not theoretical, but on the contrary very physical, even visceral.
Miron’s documentary not only offers a great recapitulation one of the most idiosyncratic and pertinent oeuvres within avantgarde film history. He also sketches the portrait of a tormented, deeply romantic artist, always courting disaster but also cursed by an inherited mental condition. The reconstruction of a tragic career is animated with ample illustrations combined with home movies and other rarely seen archive materials.