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202 The Collected Writingsof Michael Snow But that kind of irrational "sequence of moments" doesn't bother you? No, it's not irrational; they're composed so that they affect each other. What's assumed to be completely representational and naturalistic is followed by something where some element is abstract or vice versa, so you're always coming from one mode into another. What I mean is that it isn 't necessarily a sequential didactic development. No, they definitely are separate. Painting, for example, the fact that you are now rearranging it and that you have to more or less arbitrarily decide that this is the order or the disorder. But I don't know if it's arbitrary. Certain kinds of painting have a lot of elements that you can't say where they came from, really. You just make a colour and put it on and so on, and you graduallyassemble this thing that balances out; there's no accounting for it, really. But that doesn 't bother you? No, I think it's a very mysterious and interesting thing. Painting won't be arbitrary in a sense when I settle on it, because as you move the pieces around, different kinds of relationships tend to dominate.What I'll do is make it consist of some series of relationships where one is dominantand underneaththat you'll see another one and so on. Like in Rameau in a way too? The way things would relate? Yes, that's true, they recur. For example, one series that has fairly short things is the bus scene, fart scene, and the one that is in the museum. The first one has no visible sound source. There is a voice, a single voice, and to me there's a really great separation between voice and image which you might or might not try to account for. One might ask, "Why is that voice over that picture?" In technical film talk it's a "voiceover " or a narration or a commentary. But here it isn't a commentary because it's not commenting on the picture. Maybe it is, but it certainly isn't easily apparent and the voice has also a bit of lisp. But anyway there are two separate but parallel things. Those two things are naturalistic, but there are also other odd effects because the image has these little holes in it that the people in the picture might be thought to be looking at, so in a way there are three simultaneous lines there. The fart scene doesn't have that - it's in sync, it's naturalistic.When it goes back in reverse and you see the camera in it there's perhaps the fleeting thought that it is in a mirror. It becomes nonnaturalistic because it's obviously technically different, but you do still believe that those are people there, so it's still naturalisticon one level, it's now a different kind of abstraction. And the next one, the museum one, the sentences are just laid over the movements of the mouths and you make a relationship between them but you know they're not coming from those mouths. Then the picture and the sound gradually seem to separate, become more atomized and develop into a completely other mode too. That is followed by the piss duet, which is naturalistic. It's such a bizarre thing that you're brought back out of a pretty powerful abstraction at the end of the museum scene where it's all very fast, flickers, with the sound all chopped up, then you just plunge into these two buckets of piss, which I think are believable in that naturalistic representational sense. So those are all four different states of mind, and coming from one to the other clarifies either one, I suppose, and succeeding ones too, maybe. I don't know what people do when they watch it; and they might just be thinking about something else - that happens! Cerisy-la-Salle 1979 Since 1959 the Chateau of Cerisy-la-Salle in Normandy, France, which consists of a complex of buildings, the oldest dating from 1605, has been the headquarters of the Centre Culturel International. Every summer the centre hosts conferences and readings . Proust, Gide, Valery and Claudel have been the subjects of these summer conferences . In 1979 Michael Snow was invited by Jean-Francois Lyotard to introduce and show some of his films in the context of a conference...


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