• The Dreamer

schedule

  • Sunday, Apr 15, 2018

    5:45 PM (83 mins)
    BAMPFA

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Nathaniel Dorsky: Four Films

In Conversation

Four ephemeral worlds emerge in this selection of shorts by Nathaniel Dorsky, this year’s recipient of the Persistence of Vision Award. The last months of a San Francisco drought year (2015) brought about Autumn (2016), which the filmmaker calls “a stately, but intimate, seasonal tome” and “a celebration of the poignancy and mystery of our later years.” The Dreamer (2016), he writes, was born out of San Francisco spring’s “crisp, cool breezes, bright, warm sunlight, and a general sense of heartbreaking clarity.” In accompanying text to stills of Intimations (2015), he notes “how delicately light imbues our fleeting life.” The short Avraham (2014), he offers, was named not after the fact, as many films are, but before shooting—and the word acted as the film’s inspiration and determining factor.

For more than fifty years, Nathaniel Dorsky has been illuminating minds with experimental, silent shorts in which light, nature, and everyday surrounds are carefully captured and combined to prismatic, alchemical effect. Don’t be confused by his impressive list of commercial (and independent) film credits for editing; his primary career is as a film visionary. In his 2003 book Devotional Cinema, he writes about film viewing with the same delicacy and intimacy he uses to create brilliance in the medium itself when he says, “In a flash, the uncanny presence of the poetic and vibrant world, ripe with mystery, stands before us.” Dorsky has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship and screenings at MoMA, the Tate, and the Whitney Biennial, but as Max Goldberg writes in Cinema Scope, such appellations are beside the point. “Once engrossed in Dorsky’s silent cinema . . . the social world of reputation is suspended for the encompassing and intrinsically solitary experience of beauty.”

Films in this Screening

Autumn

Nathaniel Dorsky, United States, 2016

FILM DETAILS 
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  • Color
  • 16mm
  • Silent
  • 26 mins

Avraham

Nathaniel Dorsky, United States, 2014

FILM DETAILS 
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  • Color
  • 16mm
  • Silent
  • 20 mins

The Dreamer

Nathaniel Dorsky, United States, 2016

FILM DETAILS 
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  • Color
  • 16mm
  • Silent
  • 19 mins

Intimations

Nathaniel Dorsky, United States, 2015

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • Color
  • 16mm
  • Silent
  • 18 mins