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Pan 1 (1974)

An experimental short film from the Pan series made by Hollis Frampton.


Hollis Frampton




An experimental short film from the Pan series made by Hollis Frampton.

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Pan 2 of 9
2 August 2019 | by Tornado_SamSee all my reviews

The "Pan" films, presumably not titled as such originally, was a series of nine different one-minute short films created by experimental filmmaker Hollis Frampton for his enormous thirty-six hour film cycle "Magellan". As such, they were never released as individual works or given title cards because of being an intended part of this greater context, and in the end never actually used due to the project being cut short by the filmmaker's death in 1984. Reportedly, Frampton had originally hoped to complete seven-hundred and twenty "Pan" films in all, although for whatever reason only nos. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 697, 698, 699, and 700 are available now. One would think that because of the large gap in numbering there were more shot remaining unavailable; but due to a lack of evidence supporting this, the series is generally known as containing only nine.

"Pan 1" is the second film, and while the first could almost work as an individual piece, this particular segment is even more confusing when taken out of context. As pointed out by other commenters already, both this and "Pan 0" are both appealing toward the visual: while the first creates a uniquely interesting effect by superimpositions done lightning-fast and flickering on and off, this uses a constant movement throughout its run-time to lapse the viewer into a state of exhaustion. The segment merely features a sort of pendulum--more like a bead on a string--swinging back and forth for an entire minute, and while that sounds boring it is actually somewhat hypnotic in what it does. Had "Magellan" been completed, this clip would have been even more interesting when put in context, and doubtless the entire cycle would surely be remembered as Frampton's grand magnum opus. Unfortunately, because it exists only as a series of fragments, the filmmaker remains a lesser-known figure in the history of experimental film despite the large recognition he undoubtedly deserves.

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Release Date:

10 April 2012 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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