Nathaniel Dorsky: 18 at 18 (Part 1)Open To The Public
Four evenings of film by Nathaniel Dorsky, whose silent works "blend a beauteous celebration of the sensual world with a deep sense of introspection and solitude."—San Francisco Cinematheque.
This event is part of a four-day series presented by Duke’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts. More info.
(1974-96, 18.5 min.)
Triste is an indication of the level of cinema language that I have been working towards. By delicately shifting the weight and solidity of the images, and bringing together subject matter not ordinarily associated, a deeper sense of impermanence and mystery can open. The images are as much pure-energy objects as representation of verbal understanding and the screen itself is transformed into a “speaking” character. The “sadness” referred to in the title is more the struggle of the film itself to become a film as such, rather than some pervasive mood.
(1992-98, 24 min.)
Variations blossomed forth while shooting additional material for Triste. What tender chaos, what current of luminous rhymes might cinema reveal unbridled from the daytime word? During the Bronze Age a variety of sanctuaries were built for curative purposes. One of the principal activities was transformative sleep. This montage speaks to that tradition.
(2000-01, 22.5 min.)
Perhaps the most delicately tactile in this series, Love’s Refrain rests moment to moment on its own surface. It is a coda in twilight, a soft-spoken conclusion to a set of four cinematic songs.
(2002, 18 min.)
Part One of a set of Two Devotional Songs. “The Visitation” is a gradual unfolding, an arrival so to speak. I felt the necessity to describe an occurrence, not one specifically of time and place, but one of revelation in one’s own psyche. The place of articulation is not so much in the realm of images as information, but in the response of the heart to the poignancy of the cuts.
About the Artist
Nathaniel Dorsky, born in New York City in 1943, is an experimental filmmaker and film editor who has been making films since 1963. He has lived in San Francisco since 1971. His films have been screened at museums, universities, and festivals around the United States and Europe, and he frequently exhibits new work at the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde and the Wavelengths program of the Toronto International Film Festival. In the spring of 2012 Dorsky screened films as part of the three month long Whitney Biennial. And in October 2015, the New York Film Festival honored his work with a thirty four film complete retrospective at Lincoln Center. He has received numerous awards and recognitions including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the LEF Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the California Arts Council.