“Song and Solitude” was conceived and photographed with the loving collaboration of Susan Vigil during the last year of her life. Its balance is more toward an expression of inner landscape, or what it feels like to be, rather than an exploration of the external visual world as such.
Old School doesn’t describe it. Dorsky has achieved such a subtle mastery over the most basic means of cinematic expression-composition, duration, juxtaposition-that he can squeeze a wealth of emotional vibrations out of the silent, seemingly banal interplay of foreground and background objects. A formalist with a brimming, elegiac soul, Dorsky will gently rock your attitude toward cinematic landscape. His world is a sublime mystery measured by patience and unmatched visual insight.-Paul Arthur, Film Comment
In a way, Nathaniel Dorsky (1943) could be seen as one of the ‘classic’ American avant-garde filmmakers, although he is a relatively late developer within this group.
Dorsky works with great care, filming on 16mm and projecting at 18 frames per second: ‘sacred speed’, as he calls it. He has not used sound since his very first films. The films are screened in silence, to focus all attention on the images: stunningly beautifully shot, silent and striking. The images do not refer to a subject the viewer is expected to recognize but stand completely alone.
Dorsky’s oeuvre consists of twenty short films, each of approx. 10 to 30 minutes. The Toronto film festival recently showed his new, lyrical films Aubade, Compline and Pastourelle (2010) in its Wavelengths programme. In his book, Devotional Cinema, published in 2004, Dorsky explains his vision of the transformative power of watching films, his influences and philosophy, related to Buddhism… read more