Directed by Bill Morrison
2002, 1h 7min
“The most widely praised American avant-garde film of the fin de siècle” – The Village Voice
Exploring both the poetic and physical properties of decay in its narrative and score, Bill Morrison's Decasia is a groundbreaking work of American avant-garde filmmaking, heralded as a masterpiece by critics and included in the collection of the Library of Congress. The making of the film began when Michael Gordon was commissioned to write a symphony for the Basel Sinfonietta, and Morrison and his collaborators were brought on board to create a visual component. Morrison mined archives including the George Eastman House, the South Carolina Newsreel Library and the Museum of Modern Art for pre-1950 nitrate prints that were too deteriorated to be restored, and otherwise would have been discarded, like the great majority of early silent films which are now lost to history. The result is a haunting rumination on mortality and memory, a visceral dreamscape that allows us to consider our relationship to the physical representations of the past.
Bill Morrison will be in attendance for this event. Caroline Frick (faculty, Radio-Television-Film, UT Austin) will introduce the screening.
UT Austin students can receive a $3 discount on tickets with the code nitrate3.
Screens with: Buried News (13 minutes, 2021). An investigation of 20th-century race riots in the US, from footage found in the Dawson City Collection, dating 1917-1920.
This program is presented in partnership with Austin Film Society, in conjunction with Bill Morrison: Cycles & Loops, on view January 28 – March 12, 2022.