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Michael Snow

Related: Structural film


The top of Michael Snow’s curriculum vitae reads, born: Toronto, Ontario, 10 December, 1929. Occupation: filmmaker, musician, visual artist, composer, writer, sculptor. As Canada’s best-known living artist, Snow is also one of the world’s two most highly acclaimed experimental filmmakers (the other being Stan Brakhage, US). Although Michael Snow practiced as a visual artist in Toronto in the 1950s, Canadian art critics as a whole only began to champion his work after he moved to New York City with his wife, Joyce Wieland, in 1962. In the 1960s, he developed a reputation for being an important innovator in the fields of Pop and Minimalist art, with his “Walking Women” series, and with his film work. Retrospectively, his second film, New York Eye and Ear Control (1964), is now viewed as being a key to the important contrapuntal complexities of Snow’s oeuvre. In it, the improvised, spontaneous, “expressionist” and “emotional” music of avant-garde jazz musicians Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, John Tchicai, Roswell Rudd, Gary Peacock and Sonny Murray “coexists” with the “classical,” measured, “composed,” and “intellectual” filmed images (in Snow’s own words). --http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offscreen/michael_snow.html [Oct 2004]

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