Snow in December
- Michael Snow
- 90 16mm
- Snow in December
“So Is This demonstrates that language possesses many of the same features that imagery does; Presents demonstrates that imagery possesses many of the same features that a language does.”R. Bruce Elder, Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture
Inside Presents’s tidy 90-minute runtime are two extremes: a short slapstick scenario involving a young couple that wildly careens through camera choreography seen in more rigid form in ←→ and Wavelength, and a vast drumbeat-timed voyage out to the stratospheric reaches of personal, poetic cinema. The giddy element of chaos introduced by the first part (which features Bach’s Cello Suites on the soundtrack and looks, at times, like Snow’s version of Buster Keaton’s cut-out house sets) is exceeded by the onrush of images in the second—some two thousand shots, each tracing an arc or line across the screen, grabbed from destinations so various it seems to comprise an entire life. In whole, it’s “an extraordinary database of the phenomenal world” (Bruce Jenkins), a crystalline film diary that is, for Snow, “private” and undifferentiated, but for us, a teeming world to make sense and pattern of.
“Presents is in some ways the opposite of Wavelength, which starts wide and moves in to one thing which has wide implications. Presents, on the other hand, starts narrow and goes wide (in references), for similar reasons … The film ‘presents’ female and male, creation and destruction, construction and death, tragedy and comedy, true and false, not as dichotomies but as profound evolutionary energies.”Michael Snow