Rose Colored and White Insanity

In my second year at Grad School I was taking Media History.  We were watching films to learn about the conceptual and constructed components that go into the making of them.

Unlike many arts, films exude prophecy and memory.  I would sit in the dark theatre and write in my heavy black sketchbook with the refrigerator white pages laid open.  The pen scratched across the toothy paper but I could only hear the steadily increasing sine wave of piercing electronic sound; which accounts for the words below that are typed in capitals as I routinely thought of getting up to leave. The sound increased in pitch and volume slowly over a 45 minute period.  I wrote and fought myself.  Every few minutes someone left and I still don’t know how I sat through it.  The sound was marginally muffled by thoughts of my grade point average and whether Fiona, our teacher, would mark me absent if I left before it ended. I recently read the sine wave contributes largely to the uncanniness of the film.

Here’s what was written by feeling my way along on the pages of my book as I wanted to emit the same sound as the sine wave:

Viewing “Wavelength” by Michael Snow

Extraordinarily loud traffic

(noice) noise.

empty apartment with bookcase.

strawberry fields playing and

the room turned pale red… for

a few minutes or a minute.

Traffic noise begins but the

window has been shut by 2

women that came in before &

have now left. Yellow, red —

orange, yellow-green trucks

make a loud noise  s.

sunset in the window &

it comes into the room.

psychedelic colors paint

the interior white

light strikes the room.

Flash, lightening ? or

car lights shining in like

an angry dragon, no traffic

now and a foghorn playing

a long note & vibration —

color & vibration . white &

neutrals & negative exposure

pink cellophane windows

rose colored & white insanity

green gel interior . chalky

white dark with outdoors

showing through windows.

Daylight flashing & zoomed

in on room’s interior.


The voice of the noise is

becoming hoarse . iciy blue

The noise will dye soon.

I meant die

The room is disappearing.

green shot popcorn. &

grainy film now perfectly

exposed with person on floor

What’s wrong with this picture?

klear whitewashed flashed

noise is annoying

a-noising  dark red like

a burst body vessel.  STOP IT

Tune out Tune off. TUNES

not much room left now.

a white blob passes.

and we just sit here &

take it!!

yellow chair yellow

light_ ‘ . _ Double ghost image

institution   .    office of

A d mission to a clinic for

nervous & mental breakdowns

In one ear & out the other .

Fading but not the sound.

A black phone appears &

I can call for help who’s

going to listen, who will

listen ??  LET ME OUT !?!

Clarity again in the image.

outdoor signs are visible

hardware store.  In the left

ear now.  nowpictures on

the wall. & woman dials phone.

she reports a dead person on

the floor in her room.  She

becomes ghostly.


THE SOUND.  White wall now.

pictures of 2 white forms of people

standing multiplied then became

only 2 again . now multiple &

floaty . Layers of the same

B & W picture (one over the other)

not quite aligned.  mis-matched

out of synch . spaces between

your ears . Down that tunnel

that people who have a near-

death experience go . WORSE THAN

A TOOTHACHE when will this

noise be pulled or filled??  Conden-

sation on the glass window pane

and there is a squiggle drawn


This sound is searing my

eyeballs & scraping my nerve

endings as fine lines

show up now vertically

on the screen (on the scream in my skull) . S/B 2

fine lines.  sirens now on

top of this  B & W photo of

water & rippley waves

becomes the picture & a

new noise is added like

a trolley bus starting away

from a curb . and a siren

at a distance ._ these two

combined  .  The texture of

the waves is full screen

but they do not move at all


diffuse into mist.  The END!

at last.  no maybe not.  Yes.

Some bold color blocks at

the fine.

Before watching a 10-minute version of “Wavelength” at the link below, scroll down on You Tube and get a load of the five or six comments.  I hope you will watch it and go on to read the following link for a worthy explanation of what Canadian Filmmaker Michael Snow’s award-winning film is about. The “Aha!” moment follows Wikipedia’s article and discussions.

Wikipedia on “Wavelength”

Bio of Fiona Bowie, my Media History teacher at Emily Carr University on Granville Island, Vancouver, B.C.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Leave a Reply