Wavelength (1967) - Michael Snow
I'm not sure what I expected from this film. For awhile now I've heard it often cited as one of the best experimental films of all time and a key defining film in the structuralist movement. Snow's film and largely all of his films are non-narrative. Here the film is set up as a slow continual zoom in a New York loft. The zoom is so gradual that it takes several minutes to realize that there even is a zoom. Along the way two women move a dresser, leave, come back listen to The Beatles "Strawberry Fields Forever" leave again, a man comes in and passes out on the floor, the women return and call an ambulance. This however is completely inconsequential although the film is so dry on its own that any hint of a narrative is met with anticipation. The dead man was played by well known experimental filmmaker Hollis Frampton. The manipulation of stock, exposures, and tinting recalls some of the work of David Rimmer.
Back and Forth (1969) - Michael Snow
What an apt title. This film is simply a pan back and forth across an empty classroom somewhere in Texas. Jump cuts show up and various characters enter and leave. A janitor comes to clean, a couple toss a ball back and forth, and eventually a group of people show up and make conversation. The pace of the pan changes throughout, starting slow, building speed, and slowing back down again. At the end though Snow begins to superimpose various aspects of the pan as well as a late tilt and with several of these going at once in varying speeds and directions the film will leave you feeling dizzy. Another exploration of the film medium and very aware of itself.