Image in the Snow (1953)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental  |   Run Time - 29 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Filmed in Brooklyn, Image in the Snow is an early underground "trance film" in which "a young man led by despair searches a city for salvation" (director Willard Maas' own description). He takes the Myrtle Ave. el and finds his "ideal parents" represented as carved stone figures on a tomb in the old part of Mt. Olivet Cemetary. Although not as highly regarded as Geography of the Body or as ostentatious as Narcissus in its own time, Image in the Snow has become the most frequently revived of Willard Maas' thematic, non-documentary films. At a 1953 symposium on "Poetry and Film" Maya Deren praised Image in the Snow, stating that "the development of the film is very largely horizontal, that is, there is a story line, but this is illuminated constantly by poetic commentary so that you have two actions going on simultaneously." In the 21st century Image in the Snow is largely viewed in the gay community as a key example of what gay life was like "in the bad old days."