6 user 1 critic

Back and Forth (1969)

<---> (original title)
A camera in a classroom continuously sways back and forth at various speeds as people occasionally move around the setting.


Michael Snow


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Cast overview:
Allan Kaprow Allan Kaprow
Emmett Williams Emmett Williams
Max Neuhaus Max Neuhaus
Joyce Wieland Joyce Wieland
Luis Camnitzer Luis Camnitzer
Jud Yalkut Jud Yalkut ... Self
Ay-o Ay-o
Susan Susan
Anne Anne
Mary Mary
Scotty Scotty
Emmett Williams Emmett Williams


A camera in a classroom continuously sways back and forth at various speeds as people occasionally move around the setting.

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The film continues for about five minutes after the "closing" credits. See more »


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User Reviews

Not sure if there was a point in this all but as a visual experience it works out.
20 November 2009 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

It's hard to say what Michael Snow's exact intentions were with this movie. Snow is a director/artist though who has done several film-projects involving camera movements. The movements being used in this movie are back and forth, as is also the more pronounceable and commonly used name of the movie. What's the point? I don't know but I would still love to hear it though.

Perhaps there was no point and all the movie wanted to show was the movement of a camera, going from left to right and back again. But that raises the question why we should sit through it. The movie is available to watch, so it was the creator's intention to show it to the world and in order to do that he should had had a good reason to do so, or better said a point to make.

The entire movie isn't shot in some very high quality. Guess being an artist doesn't make you very rich. The movie is being very grainy and the picture quality is just quite poor. The camera is also put on some sort of device that more and more rapidly lets the camera go back and forth. This machined device is however incredibly noisy, which causes the entire movie to contain its constant noises.

The movie is not just all movement but also occasionally people are in the frame. They pop up out of nowhere and are also suddenly gone again after a while. Some interact, while others are just sitting there and watching. It got all staged, so this doesn't have a natural feel over it. For most of the movie though the shots are empty. The camera got placed in a classroom during day time and that's basically the movie its entire premise.

Even though there seemed to be no point in it all, I couldn't hate watching this movie, as it's not really a movie any way but just a visual experience. A real art house movie, obviously not made for the main stream public. The movie got sort of hypnotic though when you got used to the movements and the sound and images worked quite calming and captivating. The speed of the going back and forth is often changing and at times even really gets out of control. It doesn't make the movie just the same and the same over and over to watch, even though it consists out of the same pans at the same location over and over again.

Of course no must-see but still it was an interesting experience to go through for its running time.



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Release Date:

21 May 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Back and Forth See more »

Filming Locations:

Madison, New Jersey, USA

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