It’s About Time – Michael Snow’s WAVELENGTH


Are you ready?

brand new print, original 16mm format

plus: his short film, Breakfast (1976)

Wednesday, February 9
8:00 PM only

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave. – on Capitol Hill, between Pike and Pine.
Advance tickets available via

“It has rightly been described as a ‘triumph of contemplative cinema’.” — Gene Youngblood, L.A. Free Press, 1968

Wavelength ranks among those films which force viewers, regardless of how they react, to carefully consider the essence of the medium and, just as unavoidably, reality.” — Amos Vogel

One of the great classics of experimental cinema, Michael Snow’s Wavelength revolutionized the international avant-garde film scene. Working from the single formal rule of an impossibly slow, 45 minute zoom across a long room, the film is actually built from different takes shot over one week — at varying times of day, using different film stocks and camera settings. At times, superimpositions or just raw negative appear. The actual sounds of the room are blended with a shifting electronic tone, as we witness four events (including a death)…literally in passing. Snow blurs the lines between realism and abstraction, stasis and narrative, the analytic and the sensate.

A cornerstone work in what P. Adams Sitney called stucturalist cinema, Wavelength was included in the Village Voice critics’ list of the 100 Best Films of the 20th Century, and has been designated and preserved as a “masterwork” by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada.  In 1967 it won the Grand Prix award at the prestigious Knokke International Experimental Film Festival in Belgium.

“For all of the film’s sophistication (and it is overpowering for its time-space-sound inventions) it is a singularly unpadded, uncomplicated, deadly realistic way to film three walls, a ceiling and a floor… It is probably the most rigorously composed movie in existence.” — Artforum magazine, 1969


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