Volume 6, Issue 11 / November 2002

Michael Snow Dossier

In this issue

Offscreen is proud to present a complete issue dedicated to one of Canada’s National treasures, the avant garde, jack of all artists Michael Snow. Michael Snow was an invited guest of the 2002 Festival International Nouveau Cinéma Nouveaux Médias (FCMM). Snow’s extensive work was featured throughout the 10 days of the festival, highlighted by the Montreal premiere of his latest feature Corpus Callosum, a retrospective of his major film works, a special concert by CCMC, a “Conversation between Michael Snow and Thierry De Duve,”, several installation pieces, and the launch of the DVD Rom Digital Snow. If ever the term “Renaissance Man” applied, it would be to Michael Snow. Most artists would be pleased to have made inroads into one art, but Snow is a strange beast, extending his creative talons into music, painting, sculpting, photography, and film. In this dossier Offscreen concentrates on his film work, but clearly within the shadow of his other art works. The Michael Snow dossier consists of a brief introduction to his film work by Peter Rist; individual studies of his two most famous films, Wavelength and La Région Centrale; a unique look at Michael Snow as a pedagogue of such varied areas and skills as perception, physics, text reading, and art history; an in depth interview with Michael Snow conducted during the FCMM festival (October 10-20, 2002); and a theoretical analysis by Randolph Jordan of the ‘indissoluble’ synesthetic relationship between sound and image. Quite by chance, Randolph’s extensive piece brings together many strands of thought running throughout the other articles. Namely the way Snow’s films seem, simultaneously, to be about pure experience and analytical reflection, or, of the body and of the mind. And the challenge of trying to account for the all-important ‘experience’ of Snow’s films by rational means (i.e. analysis, critical thought, theory, etc.).

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