Michael Snow (Michael James Aleck Snow)
BiographyToronto, Ontario, Canada
Central figure of the American avant-garde. An artist who made an isolated animated short, A to Z (1956), Snow concentrated on his painting career until moving to New York in 1963. After attending avant-garde film screenings organized by critic-filmmaker Jonas Mekas and turning out a second film, the formalist New York Eye and Ear Control (1964), he made the highly influential Wavelength (1967). WAVELENGTH consists of a 45-minute zoom across a loft--interruped at several points by a cryptic narrative involving a murder--which ends on a close-up of a photograph of ocean waves. Read more... and inspired a generation of structuralist filmmakers. It was the first in a series of Snow's works which reduce the film medium to one of its most basic elements--camera movement: Standard Time (1967) is made up of 360-degree pans; in _Back and Forth (1969)_, the camera moves backwards and forwards at varying speeds, recording events in a classroom; in La région centrale (1971), Snow's remote-controlled camera, mounted on a tripod in the middle of the Quebec tundra, executes 360 degree rotations in three different circular patterns (at various speeds) while zooming in and out.