Hy Hirsh Characteristics

Hy Hirsh (1911-61) constructed kaleidoscopically beautiful films that had no parallels or precedents in the arts. Whether Hirsh, rapidly editing images made on an optical printer, made films which existed outside of tradition, but anticipated films made decades later.

Hirsh's films developed a masterful mix of sound and image via oscillascope electronics and optical printing synchronized to his home-made recordings of jazz and Afro-Caribbean music. He was an influential figure of the West Coast film scene and manifested himself in front of, and behind, the camera for films by Sidney Peterson, Harry Smith, Jordan Belson and others.

Hy Hirsch