Item Description
La Région Centrale (1971) DVD
Director: Michael Snow
Arguably the first feature filmed by a robot,
Michael Snow's three hour exploration of the possibilities of
camera movement over a barren Arctic landscape suggests many
things: sci-fi space probe footage more authentic than George
Lucas; a rebuff to the romantic frontier landscapes of Hollywood
Westerns; an avant-garde equivalent of an amusement park simulator
ride. Lensed by a specially designed rotating camera mount
pre-programmed to move with stunning variety, the film begins as a
slow, soothing meditation on the otherworldly textures of the
Canadian wilderness, but gradually morphs into a dizzying,
terrifying freakout, a relentlessly spinning gaze that pummels the
equilibrium of the human eye. The film pushes the boundaries not
only of human sight but of the physical earth, destroying gravity
and transforming a lifeless vista into a cosmic force of light and
energy. Clinically scientific in its approach yet yielding an
organic, even spiritual wonder,
La Région centrale
does not merely vindicate the oft-neglected genre of experimental
film, but thrusts itself into the center of cinema at its most
vital.
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