*Corpus Callosum | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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*Corpus Callosum

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This stunning 93-minute video (2002) by Canadian conceptual artist Michael Snow might be his greatest work since La region centrale over 30 years ago. Almost certainly his most accessible feature, it combines elements from virtually all his previous films: the inexorable camera movement of Wavelength, Back and Forth, and La region centrale; the encyclopedic cataloging of Rameau's Nephew; the playful self-reflexivity of So Is This. This is also his first encounter with digital video, and it explores all the things DV can do to stretch, compress, and distort bodies, a subject Snow explores formally, comically, and at times even ideologically. (There's a lot of dialectical play in the film between two distinct spaces: a very contemporary row of staffed computer stations, backed by windows overlooking a cityscape, and a completely sealed-off bomb shelter of a living room filled with 50s kitsch and inhabited by an all-American family, in which a TV set clearly "rhymes" with the computer screens.) Not counting the asterisk, the title refers to the tissue connecting the hemispheres of the brain, an apt reference given the prodigious and joyful inventiveness on display. Univ. of Chicago Doc Films.

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