Thursday, October 26, 2006
Watched Michael Snow's Wavelength the other night for a class (on 16mm, other screenings this week: Weekend and Herzog's The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser). Can't get it out of my head, really, although I'm not really sure how to describe it. Fascinating, and I think I've starting to get a handle on what exactly fascinates me about it, but it's hard. So much of film analysis is based on the concrete and tangible (form in service of narrative, of theme, of argument), that switching over to something that doesn't articulate any sort of argument, in which narrative might as well be nonexistent, and in which the theme is ambiguous at best, can feel utterly alien. They're often described in terms of technique, much like painting or sculpture, but that's most definitely outside my own area of expertise, if you can call it an expertise. What I like about it is what's been occupying a lot of my brain, or at least that portion that fantasizes about what I will one day (soon) be studying instead of actually doing any studying: the way that space and distance are coded, particularly how they're infused with so much substance and significance by the oh-so-slow zoom in. And then there's the resolution, that final transporting image that the film spends 45 minutes explaining as an image (a photograph on the wall constantly at the center of the frame), but that functions, somehow, as a "real" escape from the confines of the room.