Reassemblage and Wavelength

This week I decided to watch the films Re-assemblage: From the Firelight to the Screen by Trinh T. Minh-ha and Wavelength by Michael Snow because we did not have class on Tuesday and Thursday of last week to be able to watch these films. The topics of these films consisted of the post-colonial gaze, especially in African countries and the ideas of Structuralism and the Materialist film. Re-assamblage is a documentary about Post- Colonial Senegal in 1981. It mostly focuses on women and children in a rural part of Senegal. Minh-ha asks questions throughout the film. She states that this ethnography film can play with the imagination and clichés about how the Western World views African countries.

The film Wavelength by Michael Snow is considered to be one of the greatest underground, art house, and form of avant-garde cinema created. The film consisted of no action. In the first scene, a woman in a fur coat tells men where to place a bookshelf and they leave. Later, she returns with a female friend and listen to the Beatles on the radio. After they leave, a man enters the room and collapses on the floor. The woman in the fur coat returns and makes a phone call, explaining how she has never seen the dead man in her room before. Police sirens can be heard and the tone shifts in frequency, similar to a wavelength, as the camera shows the emptiness of the random apartment. The color changes constantly from a blue, to a purple, and other colors, while focusing slowly across the room for forty-five minutes. At the end, the camera stops and focuses on the photograph on the wall. This was a very minimal film, but did have the characteristics of a structuralist film, one that is authentic and underground.

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