Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cine Stills: Decasia

I just watched Bill Morrison's haunting and hallucinatory experimental film Decasia. Amassed from decaying archival footage, Decasia fuses disparate elements into a cacophonous visual experience. Despite the chaos, or perhaps because of it, the film is incredibly beautiful and viscerally powerful. It is accompanied by an arresting, albeit dissonant, score by composer Michael Gordon, which is ultimately as important an element in the film as the actual footage. The combination of the images and sounds fuse together to create a hypnotic and intensely rhythmic film. In an essay about Decasia on the Creative Capital website, an anonymous author had this to say about the film:

"There are ghosts in Bill Morrison's work -- shadowy illusions that emerge out of a haze of static, scratches, or discoloration for brief moments, then disappear into a chemical darkness. Morrison's intention is to restore meaning to these little apparitions from the dawn of the film age, if not singly, then in a collage with dozens of other similarly retrieved moments."

I highly recommend giving this film a chance. It is at times challenging to watch, but the rewards become evident pretty quickly.

Still from Decasia, 2002. (dir. Bill Morrison)