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La Région Centrale, by Michael Snow

La Région Centrale, by Michael Snow

La Région Centrale

UCLA Film & Television Archive and Los Angeles Filmforum present

La Région Centrale, by Michael Snow

Sunday, November 5, 2023, 7:00 pm

At the Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024

Full information at

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.

The late avant-garde master Michael Snow’s work explores the nature of perception, consciousness, participation, and in many ways is uncategorizable but relation to time is evident. He worked in many mediums and his films playfully and prolifically rethink the parameters while requiring audiences to actively participate in this work. La Région Centrale is a three-hour-long film that calls attention to the mechanics of filmmaking, using a computer-programmed, motorized tripod that rotates the camera 360 degrees in any direction, repeatedly, without dialogue or any other subject beyond the landscape, over the course of a day. The film demands concentration, while its movements become meditative. Rarely screened and if you are willing to engage, the experience is dizzying and technologically sublime.

Michael Snow with the camera by Joyce Wieland smaller

Michael Snow with the machine he and Pierre Abeloos designed to film La Région Centrale. The photo was taken by Joyce Wieland in October 1969 on the fifth and final day of the crew’s presence on the mountaintop in northern Quebec where the film was shot. -

La Région Centrale

By Michael Snow

Canada, 1971, 16mm, color, 180 min.

Please note, the only soundtrack is a repeating pulse for the duration of the film.

“From the perspective of a mountaintop, this cinematic landscape features vast prospects and a rocky terrain recorded by a camera rigged for movement in any and all directions, including turning, rolling, and spinning—a landscape that defies gravity. To achieve this effect in the wilderness, Snow conceived of a remote-controlled camera-activating machine that he commissioned from the engineer Pierre Abeloos. Camera and crew were dropped by helicopter onto the surface of planet Earth. Snow shot five hours of raw colour footage, which he then edited into a three-hour film intended for theatrical distribution.

“La Région Centrale transports its audience to a rugged Canadian landscape that is discovered at noon and then explored in seventeen episodes of dizzying motion as the machine’s shadow lengthens, night falls, and light returns. The soundtrack, composed by Snow for a quasi-synthesizer, refers to the sine waves and electronic pulses that had set the camera in motion and heightens the sensation of being under the power of an all-seeing machine. The experience is vertiginous, hallucinatory, and defining of the technological sublime.” – Martha Langford, Art Canada Institute,