Monday, February 10, 2014

2/12/14 Standard Time in America

STANDARD TIME by Michael Snow
8:20min. / 1967 / sound / colour
"In Snow's ‘Standard Time’ a waist-high camera shuttles back and forth, goes up and down, picking up small, elegantly-lighted square effects around a living room very much like its owner: ordered but not prissy. A joyously spiritual little film, it contains both his singular stoicism and the germinal ideas of his other films, each one like a thesis, proposing a particular relationship between image, time and space.” - Manny Farber, Art Forum

<-> (Back and Forth) by Michael Snow
52 min. / 1969 /sound / colour
Experimental Canadian film, Snow’s classic Back and Forth (<->), in which the various movements of a camera pan take on multiple meanings, uses, and identities, including the sculptural.
"... his sternest film, titled with a sign for back and forth motion. A specially rigged camera swings right-left, left-right, before a homely, sterile classroom wall, then accelerates into an unbearable blur (the same frenzied scramble, as though the whole creative process was going berserk, that occurs three quarters of the way through ‘Abbey Road’)... In such a hard, drilling work, the wooden clap sounds are a terrific invention and, as much as any single element, created the sculpture. Seeming to thrust the image off the screen, these clap effects are timed like a metronome, sometimes occurring with torrential frequency." - Manny Farber, Art Forum

"Not only did ‘Back and Forth’ expand the possibilities of cinematic framing as postulated in ‘Wavelength’; it actually expanded the parameters of movie narrative as we'd previously recognized them, expanded them even beyond Godard's bold effects in such films as ‘Weekend.’ For in ‘Back and Forth,’ Snow was able to completely suffuse form with content, while not relinquishing the traditional elements of characterization and acting. The relentless back and forth pan stresses similar concepts which Snow had engaged in his sculptures and carries still further the experiments with perception and illusion which began in ‘Wavelength.’" - Gene Youngblood, L.A. Free Press

CAT FOOD by Joyce Wieland,
3:30 min. / 1967 / sound / color
“In Catfood Wieland shows a cat devouring fish after fish for some ten minutes. There seems to be no repetition of shots, but the imagery is so consistent throughout–shot of the fish, the cat eating, his paw clawing, another fish, the cat eating, etc.–that it is just possible the shots are recurrent. There is no question that Wieland has a unique talent.”- P. Adams Sitney