La Région Centrale (1971)
16mm, color, sound, 190 min
Dir. Michael Snow
For the making of La Région Centrale, conceptual artist Michael Snow had a special camera constructed by a technician at the National Film Board in Canada. Designed to automate the recording of a remote mountain landscape in Northern Quebec, the 16-mm camera was programmed to move in multiple directions -- horizontally, vertically, laterally, or in a spiral -- and at varying speeds. The film informs David Hartt’s approach to landscape in The Histories (Le Mancenillier).
"La Région Centrale can be described as heroic bordering on the apocalyptic. It is an epochal film because of the extent of the camera movements and its transformation of space .... Gravity is destroyed ... the horizon line has been erased and forgotten and the landmass has been transformed into a whirling flat disc, a blurred flash of light with no mass or volume, rotating wildly through the sky .... Snow's mountain landscape has become a reflection on the solar system." – Bill Simon, Artforum