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La Région Centrale

Michael Snow

Canada, 1970 - 1971
190 minutes, Colour, opt, 4:3
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: 16mm / BluRay / HD Digital file

‘Description: A film, three hours long. The film begins with the camera scanning slowly and moving upwards, over the mountain location in a ‘deserted’ part of Quebec. The film continues, in various ways, to take in the region. The apparatus for the film’s making was constructed so that the camera could swivel and turn, up and down and around and in on its ow axis. It could also zoom and change aperture. Snow composed the camera movements and created an overall plan for the film. Pierre Abbeloos of Montreal worked out a system of patterns by means of sound tapes.
At some point of attained camera-movement-speed, the relativist transference (as in Back and Forth) takes place. No longer is the camera moving over the (designated) central region. The frame ‘becomes’ static. The flow is from without, more distanced thus than when the machine was seemingly doing physical work. The illusion of frame-stillness is constantly broken down and reiterated through sheer knowledge. This relativism simplified the relativism that is inherent in matter and and consciousness. The Central Region is out there, a film, 3 hours, five reels, and to end with a quote from the filmmaker: ‘I decided to extend the machine aspect of film so that there might be a more objective feeling, you wouldn’t be thinking of someone’s expressive handling of the thing, but perhaps how and why the whole thing got set in motion.’ Snow’s words on Central Region (having been studiously avoided by me until this moment) I find the sentence reading: “You are here, the film is there, it is neither fascism nor entertainment.” Had I not read that, I would have written it.’ (June 1973) – Peter Gidal , Light One.