Angel Beach

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2001, 16mm color, 18fps, silent, 27 mins.

Anonymous 3D photographs of bikini-clad women from the early 1970s are compressed into a two-dimensional cinematic space, triggering an exuberant visual dance and revealing a troubling and elegiac voyeurism.

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"Incarnations: free spirits take physical form in young mortal bodies on northern California beaches. Their initial movements are mere flittering gestures and awkward extensions of elbows, knees and shoulders : these are innocents unused to the strictures of the human form, joyful in the wonderment of first physical sensation. Freshly sprung from the ethereal chrysalis, they set to work, busily burrowing and crafting three dimensional baffles, channels and passageways through a screenspace that is too shallow to contain their neophytic exuberance." - s.s.

"Scott Stark's Angel Beach was easily the most accomplished and satisfying film in the five [New York Film Festival/Views from the Avant Garde] programs... [It] occupies a fascinating position, somewhere between documentary (inviting us to scour the images for clues as to their origins) and extremely voyeuristic spectacle." One of the top ten films of 2001 (list) -- Nicole Armour, Film Comment

"The intensely hypnotic Angel Beach was created from stereoscopic photographs of people on the beach circa 1970. Filmmaker Scott Stark intercuts the stereo images so rapidly that objects appear to vibrate around a static point..." - Fred Camper, Chicago Reader

"[An] especially notable film was Scott Stark's Angel Beach... By oscillating rapidly between the two images, he produces a strange simulation of three-dimensionality: the centered subjects leap out of the screen, literally vibrating with libidinal energy, while the intensely pulsating backgrounds veer toward semi-abstraction. The girls' awkward poses produce some peculiar and interesting effects. But most impressive of all is the illusion of continuous motion Stark produces by cutting between two separate sets of images. The distinct sensation of circling around a stationary subject, while never actually changing position is profoundly disorienting." - Brian Frye, indieWIRE review of 2001 New York Film Festival Views from the Avant Garde

"Watching this piece makes you feel like you are sitting in a giant, slightly naughty, washing machine with the agitator swishing you back and forth while you gawk at gyrating flesh; it is a disorienting effect to say the least." -- Stephanie Beasley, The Austinist

"An exhilarating celebration of eyeballs aroused." -- David Finkelstein,

Angel Beach was accepted into the 2002 Whitney Biennial.