Wavelenght (1965)

Wavelength describes a single zoom movement for three quarters of an hour across an almost empty New York loft, resting eventually with the frame of a black-and-white photograph of waves pinned to the wall of the room. Within this pseudo-continuity there are innumerable changes of color filters, sudden shifts into negative, changes from day to night, occasional super-impositions, and a series of human events of increasing dramatic significance.
Wavelength consists of almost no action, and what action does occur is largely elided. If the film could be said to have a conventional plot, this would presumably refer to the three character scenes. In the first scene two people enter a room, chat briefly, and listen to "Strawberry Fields Forever" on the radio. Later, a man enters inexplicably and dies on the floor. And last, the female owner of the apartment is heard and seen on the phone, speaking, with strange calm, about the dead man in her apartment whom she has never seen before.
Briefly men and women enter and exit the frame, triggering the pretense of a narrative. But in reality, the viewer becomes increasingly absorbed in the purpose of the zoom and where it's heading. The sound is a total glissando while the film is a crescendo and a dispersed spectrum which attempts to utilize the gifts of both prophecy and memory which only film and music have to offer.

The human events are filmed with the direct sound which interrupts the steadily increasing sine wave of piercing electronic sound which contributes largely to the uncanniness of the film. The filmmaker dissects the illusion of continuity imposed by zoom, evoking an impressive series of metaphors for memory and death in the process.
Snow wanted to do something where the music could survive and not only be a support for the image.
Wavelenght opens with what appear to be a narrative. The narrative is at best skeletal, but it's one of the most potent critical gestures. Snow was aware that wiever will assume that film is about the death of a man. His decision to invoke character and plot and then ignore them is a way to challenging the conventions.
The zoom is a particularly appropriate tool for Snow's critique, because its movement is virtual, in actuality a relationship between two lenses, the image of an image.
This realization adds the first of many new dimensions to come: by introducing the element of motion, specifically invisible motion like the hands of a clock, the filmmaker adds the temporal element to a composition that in all other respects appears static. Motion is the only phenomenon that allows perception of time; the motion here, like time, is wholly conceptual.
Minutes pass and we can notice subtle details.

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