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A rhythmically edited alphabet composed of street and shop signs shot in New York City and other elements is gradually replaced by repeated seemingly abstract shots in this influential structuralist film.
One of the best and most influential in avant-garde cinema, an experiment from Michael Snow for 24 hours, using the robotic arm Michael Snow program all robotic movements so as not to be able to move the same twice, so there are differences in every motion camera. Written by
egi david perdana
Entirely shot using a robotized camera set on the top of a mountain in the Canadian wilderness - in winter. The camera was mounted on a mechanical arm that could move in any direction (even upside down). Using instructions recorded on magnetic tape, the filmakers could control the arm's movement, creating short "routines" that had do be checked and programmed daily. During the entire movie the only sound heard are mechanical blips and electronic noises synchronized with the camera movement. In an interview, Michael Snow said that his aim to show the kind of images that an alien probe landed on Earth would report back home. See more »
Note: It's pretty impossible to give an adequate number rating to films like this.
If you're reading this review, you're probably familiar enough with Snow to know what to expect from this film. I had seen a number of his other avant-garde classics, but was told this was his magnum-opus.
Like Snow's other structural works, on paper this may sound tedious: a 3 hour exploration of a landscape. But the movement, while slow at first, becomes breathtaking and even exhilarating. I never got as bored as I had expected, and I didn't have a problem with watching the film, but the sound started to get to me. After 90 minutes, I had to leave and take a break. It's not a deliberately assaultive soundtrack as some other films I've seen, but the repetitive mechanical noises, one of which sounds like a telephone ring, must have been the perfect tone to make me deeply uncomfortable and cause a headache. Part of that could also be that I was listening to these on a tiny, old speaker.
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