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Straight and Narrow

Beverly and Tony Conrad

USA, 1970
10 minutes, B&W, separate tape, 4:3
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: 16mm

‘A stroboscopic film of unusual intensity, by the maker of the classic strobe film The Flicker. – Whitney Museum of America Art Announcement.
Straight and Narrow is a study of subjective colour and visual rhythm, although it is printed on black and white film, the hypnotic pacing of the images will cause most viewers to experience a programmed gamut of hallucinatory colour effects. Through the intermediary of rhythm, the maximal impact is drawn from the simplest of universal human images: straight horizontal and vertical lines.
‘Set to a strong percussive musical background, rapidly alternating images of black and white straight lines are juxtaposed in precise rhythmic patterns to create specific colours… if you can watch without becoming hypnotised…’ – NY Daily News.
‘…I love ‘Straight and Narrow’… as a pure abstraction of feeling, in a Mondrian-mood structured hypnotically mind-changing, at the same time attacking our visual sensibilities and our optic nerves. And we see colours of the MIND exploding and dissolving in straight and narrow fleeting pictures, cubes, lines, rectangles, overcuttings, dissolves, pannings, flickering happenings…’Lil Picard, ‘Inter-VIEW’.