Underground Film Journal

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Short Experimental Film: Solaristics

By Mike Everleth ⋅ December 4, 2013

You may not have noticed it, but the sun turned black today. Don’t believe it? Experimental filmmaker Peter Rose has filmed the incontrovertible proof and presents it in the short film Solaristics.

Solaristics works amazingly well on a myriad of levels. Most prominently, each scene of the film is one of suspense, creating and building anticipation to see out of which different and ingenious scenario the black sun will make its appearance. Rose keeps the camera almost continuously moving, so that the sun darts in and out of and behind various foreground images, whether they are close like a slatted or chainlink fence; or far away like a thick cloud.

However, the film also works as a commentary on the act of seeing. In several scenarios, groups of people are observed, none of whom are paying any attention at all that the sun has just turned black. Also, the camera gives the feeling that it is being operated independently of any owner as it coldly documents a startling natural phenomenon without reaction from whomever the cameraman might be.

Solaristics recently made it’s cinema debut at Brooklyn’s Microscope Gallery at a retrospective of Rose’s work from 1970 to the present. You can also learn more about the filmmaker at his official website.

Black sun peeks through fence slats