LA Film Forum Logo

Snow in Springtime: A Michael Snow Tribute in three films, including Wavelength

Snow in Springtime: A Michael Snow Tribute in three films, including Wavelength

Wavelength, courtesy Michael Snow/Jack Shainman Gallery, NY

Los Angeles Filmforum and Mezzanine present

Snow in Springtime: A Michael Snow Tribute in three films, including Wavelength

Sunday April 30, 2023, 7:30 pm

At 2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90057

Tickets: $15 general; $10 student/senior, free for Filmforum members

When Michael Snow passed away on January 5 at the age of 94, the world lost a tremendous artist, who worked with rigor and humor in film, music, photography, sculpture, and more. 

His classic film Wavelength hasn’t played in Los Angeles for several years, so we are bringing it with two other short films, Standard Time (1967) and See You Later (1990) all screening on 16mm.

An accomplished cross-disciplinary artist even before he came to cinema, Michael Snow was perhaps best known for his highly influential avant-garde films, which remain as brazenly conceptual as they are perceptual. After moving to New York City with his wife Joyce Wieland in the 1960s, the two were exposed to the burgeoning New American Cinema movement, where Snow became part of an emerging tradition of medium-specific and highly formalist approach to avant-garde cinema—often described as “structuralism”—and made a series of groundbreaking films that are still among the most widely discussed and debated in the American avant-garde. The act of watching Snow’s work is perhaps best described by P. Adams Sitney, who calls it the “discovery of a simple situation permeated by a rich field of philosophical implications, which duration elaborates". Yet Snow’s work also contains “a persistent undercurrent of humour that can range from dryly witty to pure slapstick” (Chris Kennedy).

"Mr. Snow was a prolific and playful artist, as well as a polymath of extraordinary versatility. “I am not a professional,” he declared in a statement written for a group show catalog in 1967. “My paintings are done by a filmmaker, sculpture by a musician, films by a painter, music by a filmmaker, paintings by a sculptor, sculpture by a filmmaker, films by a musician, music by a sculptor.” And, he added, “Sometimes they all work together.” -- J. Hoberman, New York Times, 2023-01-06

16mm prints courtesy of Canyon Cinema. Special thanks to Chloe Reyes and Seth Mitter (Canyon Cinema).

Masks are still required at Filmforum shows - N95 or KN95.

Wavelength 2 Michael SnowJack Shainman Gallery NY

Wavelength, courtesy Michael Snow/Jack Shainman Gallery, NY


1967, 16mm, color sound, 45 minutes

“The first post-Warhol, post-Minimal movie… A triumph of contemplative cinema.” -Gene Youngblood

“A stuttering 45-minute forward zoom across a Manhattan loft, in which a man’s death and the subsequent discovery of his corpse, both presented in sync sound, provide two of the on-screen events; an electronic sine wave moving steadily up a musical scale accompanies the camera’s journey.” -Jonathan Rosenbaum

Standard Time

Standard Time

Standard Time

1967, 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes

“This is my home, wife, camera, radio, turtle movie. Circular and arc saccades and glances. Spacial, parallel sound.” –Michael Snow

"In Snow's Standard Time a waist-high camera shuttles back and forth, goes up and down, picking up small, elegantly-lighted square effects around a living room very much like its owner: ordered but not prissy. A joyously spiritual little film, it contains both his singular stoicism and the germinal ideas of his other films, each one like a thesis, proposing a particular relationship between image, time and space." - Manny Farber, Art Forum

See You Later 1

See You Later/Au Revoir

See You Later/Au Revoir

1990, 16mm, color, sound, 18 minutes

Actors: Michael Snow, Peggy Gale; Camera: Ira Cohen; Set design and lighting: Michael Snow. Plot: A man leaves an office.

The image shows a staged, formally complete, common event. The real-time action, which took 30 seconds, was extended to become 17.5 minutes on the screen. The sync sound of the typewriter and two voices (He: "Goodbye"; She: "See you later") was slowed down the same amount of time. (MS)

“In this work, Snow continues his study of the cinematic elements: Time and duration are made palpable. For him, film techniques and components are active protagonists, as they have been in ONE SECOND IN MONTREAL (1969) or with the zoom of WAVELENGTH (1967) and pan of LA RÉGION CENTRALE (1971). The idea for this film came to Snow as early as 1968, when he saw it complete in his mind, almost as a vision. It was the fortuitous offer of access to the Super Slo-Mo camera in 1990 that finally made its completion possible.” –Peggy Gale