Blood Simple

The Rotterdam Film Festival, where I was a guest last week, is the international showcase most committed to new, far-flung, and alternative modes of cinema. A case in point is *Corpus Callosum, Michael Snow's new, feature-length perceptual vaudeville, which had its world premiere projected on the big screen of a state-of-the-art commercial theater.

Although shot on video and largely computer-produced, *Corpus Callosum is almost a self-curated retrospective of Snow's career, but with a twist. Everything in this continually self-referential piece, some of which was shown in late 2000 as The Living Room, is stretched, squeezed, and flipped—the bodies of Snow's large cast not the least. (At one point, one guy ties another in a knot.) Space is a similarly malleable object. Is the camera panning, or is the image being subjected to some sort of digital taffy-pull?

Ill-gotten french fries: Tierney and LeGros in Scotland, PA
photo: Lot 47
Ill-gotten french fries: Tierney and LeGros in Scotland, PA


Scotland, PA
Written and directed by Billy Morrissette, from Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Lot 47
Opens February 8

Written and directed by Kang Je-Gyu
Samuel Goldwyn
Opens February 8

*Corpus Callosum, which is titled for the "central region" of brain tissue that acts as a conduit between the two hemispheres, can be appreciated as both a naturalistic animation and an abstract Frank Tashlin comedy. It's the first movie of the new millennium to warrant both a special issue of October and a run at the Sunshine Theater—soon I hope.

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