Form and content have reached their equilibrium in Variations. An influential work on transformative sleep, and a breakthrough.
Variations blossomed forth while shooting additional material for Triste. What tender chaos, what current of luminous rhymes might cinema reveal unbridled from the daytime world? During the Bronze Age, a variety of holy places of healing were built. One of the most important activities was transformational sleep. This cut refers back to that tradition. –Nathaniel Dorsky
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