"In Snow's... 'One Second in Montreal' and 'Dripping Water' (made with Joyce Wieland) we are brought to consider the force of time stripped of spatial interest. A collection of snow scenes, all still photographs of potential sites for a monument in Montreal (thus distinctly not 'artistic' photographs) follow one another for 22 minutes. The film is aggressive, yet haunting. It is too at the edge, at the point where an image of an actuality provides a firmer ground for meditation than an abstract image or no image at all.
"This particular film provides the subtlety of Snow's genius, in his ability to locate a precise image of time without resorting to nostalgia or any iconic representation of the past or futurity. The shots are held longer and longer as we enter the middle of the film, and they shorten towards the end. After several viewings, 'One Second in Montreal' offers a subtle reading of times, distinctions in the duration of one very long hold and one just slightly shorter. The absence of internal movement denies the sense of temporal scale I have referred to in discussing 'Back and Forth'; that absence magnifies the presence of time as a pure element in the film." - P. Adams Sitney, Michael Snow: A Survey