7362, a film by Pat O’Neill


This week is a psychedelic one for Londoners: on Monday Britain’s first Psychedelic Society was launched at Conway Hall (the Society uses my Psychedelic Alice artwork in some of its graphics); today (the 4th) there’s an evening of short psychedelic films at BFI Southbank: Jet Propelled Cinema: How Psychedelia Infected Hollywood Sci-Fi. A couple of these—James Whitney’s Yantra and Scott Bartlett’s OffOn—have featured here already but Pat O’Neill’s 7362 (1967) was one I’d not seen before. O’Neill’s film is a 10-minute exploration of vertical symmetry, solarisation and rapid strobing of a kind that no doubt carries an epilepsy warning when it’s screened in public. An electronic soundtrack by Joseph Byrd and Michael Moore connects the film to the psychedelic music scene via Joe Byrd whose cult band The United States of America recorded one of the best albums of the period a year later. 7362 is currently available on DVD together with 25 other shorts in Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947–1986.

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