By The Sea


Dir. Pat O'Neill, 16mm B/W Sound 00:10:00

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Pat O'Neill began filmmaking as an extension of photography with a "documentary" BY THE SEA (1962), co-produced with Bob Abel (who later became famous for his advertising films), for the finale of which O'Neill printed images of beach activities on high-contrast film for a dazzling sun effect, and edited them in crisp dynamic rhythms.

In retrospect, the erotic biomorphism that recurs throughout O'Neill's sculptures, collage-drawings, and (especially, early) films seems to have emerged from his 1961 Atlantic Auto Wrecking Series photographs: A pair of mismatched oblong fenders with almond-shaped headlights, for example, reappears as dark ovals in the high-contrast ending of his first film, BY THE SEA (made with Robert Abel, 1963), in the twin orbs that open 7362, and in the oscillating circles of TWO SWEEPS (1979).

[Source: Moritz, William. "Pat O'Neill." L'art du Mouvement 1919-1996. Ed. Jean-Michel Bouhours, Cinéma du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris: Centre Pompidou, 1996, 347-348.]
[Source: MutualArt]

Other Credits

Robert Abel