The Àngels Barcelona gallery presents an exhibition in tribute to Michael Snow, three months after his death. According to Peggy Gale –widow of the Canadian artist- “Michael had many good memories of Àngels Barcelona and his visits and exhibitions there. From Spain in general, but from Barcelona in particular”.
Some of us from Barcelona also have very good memories of Snow and his work. I met him in Paris in 1978 and then he was surprised when I told him that he had traveled all night from Barcelona to see The central region . The truth is that this film of yours radically changed my vision of reality.
The piece that Snow exhibits in Barcelona until May 6 is an abbreviated version of Wavelength
Already in the present century, he visited Barcelona several times, invited by Xcèntric, Àngels Barcelona and La Virreina. A dinner he shared with Barcelona’s experimental filmmakers –from Eugènia Balcells and Eugeni Bonet to Oriol Sánchez and Antoni Pinent- in a restaurant in Raval, which, by the way, did not let us take a photo of that ephemeral groupage, was memorable. Snow was not only great at times, he was also very likeable. He was amused by her first and last name being pronounced in Spanish. He said, smiling: “Miguel Nieve.”
The piece that is exhibited in Barcelona until May 6 is an abbreviated version of Wavelength . He made it on video in 2003, based on the original, from 1966-1967. If the original meant a slide from the physical to the metaphysical, the new version seems like a phantasmagoria of different superimposed times. The title of the video is WVLNT: WAVELENGTH For Those Who Don’t Have The Time: Originally 45 minutes. Now 15! that is, something like LNGTO: WAVE LENGTH for those who don’t have time: originally 45 minutes. Now 15! .
Comic Barcelona. While the Saló neglected its artistic and cultural program for years, the Angoulême salon confirmed and renewed its prestige with memorable exhibitions by Hergé, Franquin, Crumb and others, including punk feminist Julie Doucet. However, the latest edition of Cómic Barcelona has offered a splendid exhibition of originals and sketches by Daniel Torres. The section in which Barcelona can improve is that of the prizes, which are guild-based and therefore encourage the big shots to eat the boys. Year after year, many of the finalists and winners have been linked to publishers that have more authors and therefore more voters. In the past it was La Cúpula –because The Viper published many Spanish authors- and in this century is Astiberri. The Serie Frank , by Jim Woodring, awarded in Angoulême and highly praised by Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes, has never received an award in Barcelona because its publishing house – F ulgencio Pimentel from La Rioja – is small and represents very few votes. An independent, diverse, and well-chosen jury could be much fairer.
The Quiet Girl. The first fiction feature film by Irish director Colm Bairéad is a discreet gem, with chiaroscuro, a little in the vein of Yasu jiro Ozu and Víctor Erice from The spirit of the hive , although different. Its restrained tone makes the inner life of its characters emerge little by little, which is intense and -at first- secret. The Quiet Girl it is the complete opposite of gimmicky cinema, virtual substitutes and the new artificial stupidity. Everything about her is natural intelligence and unexhibited feeling. It is based on a story by Claire Keegan -also the author of the script- and it shows that her soul is feminine. Reflect on some important topics: for example, what does a lack of love make us and what does love make us. Or how different life can be if you are born into one family or another. Or what can be said and what is better not to reveal to whom. It can refer to both the Ortegan “I am me and my circumstances” and the Dalinian “Honey is sweeter than blood”. And besides, it is a pleasure to listen to the sound of the Irish Gaelic language, another hidden reality.