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 698", like the several of the earlier pans, is visually interesting in its constant movement although uninteresting when compared to the more unique effects of "Pan 0" and "Pan 3". It consists of a quick-moving back-and-forth panning shot of several flowers, creating movement only through the action of the camera itself and thus making the film an abstraction. Like other "Pan" films from the later part of the series, it is more a documentary than an avant-garde work, but in this case not completely so because of being turned abstract through the presentation of how it captures its subject. It is not a constant amount of dizzying movement, however; the camera takes a pause between every blur and thus strongly reminds the viewer of an earlier "Magellan" work: "Summer Solstice" from another section in the cycle. As always, unjudgeable due to the greater context it would belong to but a good example of how simple an abstraction can be.
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