Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2002
Country: United States
Run Time: 70 minutes

Film is dead, trumpet exponents of this digital age of cinema. No, film is not dead. Want proof? Watch it rot here. The eerie fascination exerted by disfigurement and entropic decay informs DECASIA. Reminscent of works by avant-garde greats Stan Brakhage, Harry Smith, Len Lye, Bruce Connor and Cleveland's own Robert C. Banks Jr., it was originally produced as a visual complement to composer Michael Gordon's symphonic work of the same name. Filmmaker Bill Morrison's hypnotic visuals comprise a non-narrative triptych in which a collage of ?found? footage signifies mankind's striving for meaning, either in religious ceremony or acts of creation and invention. But then the distortion of decay sets in ? scratches, smears, tears, ruination of the fragile celluloid ribbon that consititutes reality. And then a final metamorphosis, transformation that is oddly beautiful as well as disquieting. Visons of bubbling strings of gaping holes, water spots, chemical solarization and ragged textures just can't be matched by modern computer hobbyists with Adobe AfterEffects filters installed in their precious PCs. Morrison, on the other hand, culled footage from the vaults of deteriorating nitrate film stock held for safekeeping at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, while other scraps came from an archivist whose film collection suffered flood damage due to Hurricane Fran. All of it makes a statement on the ephemeral nature of matter, and the cine camera's quavering attempt to defy time and preserve the moment.

Bill Morrison

Bill Morrison

Bill Morrison

Bill Morrison

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