Michael Snow is best known for his influential 1967 film Wavelength, which remains one of the landmarks of structuralist cinema. Already an accomplished musician, sculptor, painter, and photographer in his native Canada when he became interested in film after moving to New York in the early ‘60s, he saw filmmaking as a natural extension of his other artmaking activities. His first film, New York Eye and Ear Control, incorporated the “Walking Woman” figure he had already employed in a series of widely-exhibited paintings and sculptures.
His subsequent films investigate the medium’s formal possibilities and are often structured on the mechanical properties of the camera itself. Wavelength is organized around a 42-minute zoom across a New York City loft. His next film, Back and Forth, is built around continuous horizontal and vertical pans across a classroom. These experiments reached their logical extreme with La Région Centrale, for which he built a computer-controlled apparatus… read more