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January 22, 2009


John Mark

Looks like a My Bloody Valentine video.



I first read about this film in 1970, in Gene Youngblood's book "Expanded Cinema" — but I've never seen it until now, just a few stills in the book, and on its cover.

This film would have looked pretty avant-garde when it was made. Many of the visuals can be traced back to early experimental films by people like Man Ray, but here they're brought to a much higher level with the addition of color and video effects. By now, all the techniques have been used so many times that OFFON unfortunately looks both clichéd and primitive to us in the 00s. But it really is an amazing piece of work. I'd love to see a hi-def version.

When I first heard about OFFON, you could read about films like this without ever actually seeing them, because they were hardly ever shown outside of a museum or school. Now, everything's on the web. As Lenny Bruce said, we betta off.


Thanks for this. I've got off/on on DVD (it's in the first Treasures from the American Film Archives box set) but have never seen the documentary. This is a favorite film of mine to play to intoxicated guests, and has been a great influence in my own video work. Thanks again!

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