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Converging on La Region Centrale 59 philosophies and religions there has often been the suggestion, sometimes the dogma, that transcendence would be a fusion of opposites. In there's the possibility of such a fusion being achieved by velocity. I've said before, and perhaps I can quote myself, "New York Eye and Ear Control is philosophy, Wavelength is metaphysics and is physics." By the last I mean the conversion of matter into energy. E=mc2 . La Region continues this but it becomes simultaneously micro and macro, cosmic-planetary as well as atomic. Totality is achieved in terms of cycles rather than action and reaction. It's above that. Also it should present the clearest dialogue between what one identifies as "sky," for example, and the actual, physical effect on the eye-mind of the projected moving light image. La Region isn't only a documentary photographing of a particular place at various times of day but is equally and more importantly a source of sensations, an ordering, an arranging of eye movements and of inner ear movements. It starts out here, respecting the gravity of our situation but it more and more sees as a planet does. Up downs up, down ups down, up ups up. The first 30 minutes shows us the four people who have set the camera and machine in motion doing various things,talking, looking, but after that we are gone and the remaining two and a half hours is entirely made by the machinery (you?). There are no other people but you (the machinery?) and the extraordinary wilderness. Alone. Like a lot of other humans I feel horror at the thought of the humanizing of the entire planet. In this film I recorded the visit of some of our minds and bodies and machinery to a wild place but I didn't colonize it, enslave it. I hardly even borrowed it. Seeing really is believing.Joyce was planning to make a film of the making of La Region but unfortunately it wasn't possible. She had a wonderful title for it too: A Humane Use of Technology. The Canadian Film Development Corporation gave me a grant for about half the money I figured I needed to make this film. Later, Famous Players, the theatre chain, invested some more money in it and made it possible for it to be made. Finding someone to solve the problem of making the camera move in the controllable way that I wanted and then to build the necessary equipment was the first thing to be done. I knew what I wanted but wasn't sure about how it could be done. I tried a lot of people, companies. Graeme Ferguson, an old friend and fine filmmaker, recommended Pierre Abbeloos of Montreal with whom he had worked on some special camera-mechanism problems. Pierre had some fine ideas how to do it, and in about a year he built this fantastic machine and all its electronics. He's a really extraordinary person. He appears in the film. You don't see the machine, but a couple of times you see its beautiful, strange shadow, a passing hint at the source of the phenomenon you're involved with. The other big problem was finding a place. I had several requirements and Joyce and I spent months of fantastic trips trying to find them all in one place. We looked mostly in Quebec from Montreal north to 100 miles south of Ungava. I wanted complete wilderness with nothing man-made visible, yet it had to be relatively accessible because of the budget and the heavy but delicate equipment, four people, etc. We tried by car first, thinking we could find something just off a road, but there was always something wrong. I finally gave up on the car idea and after a lot of consulting with people, maps and aerial photos, I rented a helicopter and found the place about 80 miles north of Sept-lies. It's a mountaintop strewn with extraordinary boulders, it had some of the kinds of slopes I wanted and a long deep vista of mountains. It's not a travel-poster w beauty, but it's a unique place, arctic-like, rocky, no trees. I was thinking of subtitling the film "A Rock and Grass Festival"! I composed the camera movements, made an overall score for the film. Pierre worked out a system of supplying the orders to the machine to move in various patterns...


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MARC Record
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