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Seated Figures
Canada / 42:00 / 1988 / sound / colour
"Seated Figures" is built with images which are all variations of eight movements on the screen: moving up, down, to the left or to the right, and the four possible diagonal movements. These movements are occasionally interrupted by holds (freeze frames). All the images move parallel to the 'picture plane' (the screen). The film could be considered a history of roads. Starting on asphalt the film moves to gravel, then sand, and gradually onto more and more rocky surfaces, occasionally passing through streams. Vegetation appears, roads become paths until finally the images are fields with flowers. The images were all photographed as 'trucking' shots with the camera always the same distance from the subject. The sound is of a hypothetical audience, viewing the film with the projector in the screening room.

"In 'Seated Figures,' his first movie in over five years, Snow again explores the ground zero of motion pictures - this time literally... 'Seated Figures' is a 40-minute consideration of a landscape from the perspective of an exhaust pipe. The artist appears to have bolted his camera, lens down, to a metal arm extending off the back of a truck (or possibly a jeep, given its maneuverability across diverse terrain), then driven over asphalt and dirt roads, out to the beach along a riverbed, and through a field of daisies. Although hypnotic, the movement is not continuous. The vehicle stops, reverses direction, then accelerates to produce a diagonally striated forcefield.

"For all his conceptual sophistication, Snow subscribes to a casual, all-encompassing Cage aesthetic. He's deceptively artless, a master of the visual deadpan. While trafficking in geological abstraction, he arrests the film's frantic motion, freezing some blurry onrush or a frame of flowing water. A soundtrack of coughs, yawns, and humming projector creates a further displacement. The images are distanced - accompanied by the muffled noises of an audience watching a move. Hence the mysteriously inert title. 'Seated Figures' is a about its audience. Not only are we sent flying face down over the earth, but Snow reverses the oldest concept in image-making - he juxtaposes our seated static figures against a constantly moving ground." - Jim Hoberman, Village Voice
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
32 Lisgar Street
Toronto ON Canada M6J 0C9
Monday - Thursday / 10:00 - 18:00
(416)  588 - 0725
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
32 Lisgar Street
Toronto ON Canada M6J 0C9
Monday - Thursday / 10:00 - 18:00
(416)  588 - 0725