editorial essays

Reviews



The Michael Snow Dossier

November 30, 2002


Michael Snow: A Brief Introduction

by Peter Rist

The top of Michael Snow’s curriculum vitae reads, born: Toronto, Ontario, 10 December, 1929. Occupation: filmmaker, musician, visual artist, composer, writer, sculptor. As Canada’s best-known living artist, Snow is also one of the world’s two most highly acclaimed experimental filmmakers (the other being Stan Brakhage, US).

 

La Région Centrale

by Peter Rist

La Région Centrale (Quebec, 1971, 180 min., 16mm, color) is arguably the most spectacular experimental film made anywhere in the world, and for John W. Locke, writing in Artforum in 1973, it was “as fine and important a film as I have ever seen.” If ever the term “metaphor on vision” needed to be applied to a film it should be to this one. Following Wavelength, Michael Snow continued to explore ...

 

Wavelength Revisited

by Donato Totaro

Thirty-five years after its inception, Wavelength (Ontario, 1967, 45 min.) remains one of the most vital and (still) groundbreaking films in the history of experimental cinema. It is, quite simply, the “Citizen Kane” of experimental cinema. Screenings of Wavelength in and out of academic situations have probably generated more mixed emotions-frustration, boredom, exhilaration and awe (sometimes in the same spectator)- than any other film.

 

Master Lessons With Michael Snow

by Louis Goyette

The films of Michael Snow require a certain intellectual disposition. To be fully understood and appreciated they should be placed within the context of art history, and more specifically modernism, where each medium’s intrinsic value is maintained. But aren’t such pretensions to a medium’s purity merely utopian, or in the least fragmentary or incomplete?

 

Weathering the Creative Storm: An Interview With Michael Snow

by Donato Totaro and André Habib

If ever the term “Renaissance Man” applied, it would be to Michael Snow. Most artists would be pleased to have made inroads into one art, but Snow is a strange beast, extending his creative talons into music, painting, sculpting, photography, and film (are you dizzy yet?). So as ecstatic as we were to have one hour with Snow out of his extremely busy schedule, we realized given his prodigious achievements....

 

Transcending the Fragmentation of Experience: The acousmêtre on the air in the films of Michael Snow

by Randolph Jordan

Michel Chion’s Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen presents some compelling strategies for approaching and interpreting the use of sound in film, and provides many avenues for using sound as a way of understanding cinema from a more transcendental frame of mind. What Chion discovers through his process of coming to terms, so to speak, with his expanded vocabulary for sound analysis is that much of the deeper experience we get from cinema is a direct result of the transcendence....