Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 3:00pm
Michael Snow's Rameau's Nephew...

177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn




Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen
Michael Snow, 16mm, 1974, 270 mins

An achievement of the originality and brilliance of Wavelength. Snow embraces the problems on intimacy of language and thought with such variety, clarity and invention and high humour that again he seems to have made a film out of which an entire future movement could be mined. - P. Adams Sitney

Michael Snow's Rameau's Nephew Etc. makes me crazy, makes the top of my head go flying off. I have a need of its particular regenerative insanity at least once a month. - Amy Taubin

I started scripting this film in February 1972 and writing, shooting, mixing, editing and continued till September '74. Some ideas used in it date from 1966 when I recognized in myself the ambition to make an authentic Talking Picture i.e. true to its description, it moves for its content from the facts of the simultaneities of recorded speech and image; it is built from the true units of a 'talking picture' the syllable and the frame. All the possible image/sound relationships centering around people and speech generate the movie-audience relationships: a wide range of emotional possibilities, the experience of seeing/hearing this film.'Speech', 'Language', 'Culture' - their source, their nature...recorded, imaged, prove (?) that in this case a word is worth 1000 pictures. - Michael Snow

Scripted and shot during a highly productive period in the early 1970s (when Snow made his monumental La Région Central), Rameau’s Nephew presents multiple attempts by "Wilma Schoen" (screen alter-ego of the filmmaker himself) to make an authentic "talking picture." The result resembles by turns a crazy comedy and a philosophical treatise as performers, including video artist Nam June Paik and critic and theorist Annette Michelson, struggle with their line readings, as piano keys emit passionate erotic moans, and as the existence of physical objects are placed into doubt. Snow sets into motion a vigorous dialogue between sound and image that feels at moments like the remake of a Jacques Tati film scripted by Ludwig Wittgenstein—or a restaging of Diderot by Wilma Schoen. - Harvard Film Archive

Tickets - $7, available at door.