Yesterday I had the deep pleasure of visiting Nathaniel Dorsky, at his place, to have a nice talk – he’d just recovered his legs from jet lag after a wonderful two week journey in Spain where he had 6 or so in-person screenings, set up by some young people there despite the ‘austerity’ program cutting into everything. He had a great time, he says, and for that I’m really happy. And then I got to see two of his newer films, made since I went to his retrospective screenings in Rotterdam 3 years ago. Sadly didn’t have time to see the other two he did since. Of the two I saw, they both are wonderful, and while being Nathaniel’s, and so sharing deep commonalities, both quite different from one another. One, August and after, is a dark work, nodding to the deaths of some friends of Nathaniel’s, seen early in the film, among them George Kuchar, seen withered and gaunt. The imagery is dense and lush but tuned to the range of a Fuji stock, and clearly to the tonalities in his mind’s eye. His perceptions and use of camera/stock/eye/movement are honed to perfection, with images so rich and mysterious, layer on layer compacted in a single image – with no EFX, just that of an extremely acute vision – and edited with a near-mystical sense of cadence and rhythm. I was overwhelmed, and talking a bit afterwards with him about it afterwards, it was with wet eyes – the kind which only the deepest art can evoke. The other film, April, is equally astute in all aspects, though it is more, in the literal sense, “mundane” – to say, “of this world,” and in turn has a softer psychological impact. He described it as a kind of recovery, re-joining the world following a dark passage of sadness which he took with his friends.
I’ll try to write more on these films later, and hopefully return to see the others I have missed, and if the fates allow, see, once again, all his films to take a stab at a bit of serious writing about them. Meantime thank you so much, Nathaniel – work of this kind, at this level, capable of slipping so deeply inside, is genuinely rare.
Nathaniel has some screenings coming up shortly and I will post here when I have the dates. See below for listing of screenings in Cambridge Mass. and Seattle.
Meantime, in quite another world see this.
And while I am at it, before I skip out the door to head south to LA, a notice for some screenings of my own:
March 14, USC, 7 PM, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007 Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, located in the lobby of the George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, screening Over Here, LA premiere
In period March 15-20th, I’ll be in Ann Arbor at University of Michigan doing classroom things, and a public screening of Over Here.
March 24, Film Forum, Sunday, March 24, 2013, 7:30 pm, Parable, Los Angeles premiere.
And lastly, the Jeonju Film Festival has invited The Narcissus Flowers of Katsura-shima and I will be attending the festival April 29 – May 3.
Nathaniel Dorsky will have two film shows on Easter weekend at the Harvard Film Archive, the second of which will be part of a keynote address at a conference titled Imaging the Ineffable: Representations and Reality in Religion and Film.
On Friday evening, March 29th at 7pm at the Harvard Film Archive, Carpenter Center for the Arts, Harvard University, Nathaniel will present three of his films: The Return, August and After, and April.
On Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm, as part of the graduate student conference, Imaging the Ineffable: Representations and Reality in Religion and Film, Nathaniel will present three of his films, Threnody, Alaya, and Compline. He will be co-presenting and in conversation with Dr. Charles Hallisey Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures at Harvard Divinity School. This event is open to the public, admission is free, but pre-registration is required to attend this single event within the weekend conference.
Link for more information and registration: http://mahindrahumanities.fas.harvard.edu/content/imaging-ineffable
The Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, Washington will present two film shows hosted by Nathaniel Dorsky on Wednesday, April 10th and on Thursday, April 11th, both starting at 8pm.
On Wednesday, Nathaniel will show his quartet of films: Sarabande, Compline, Aubade, and Winter.
On Thursday, Nathaniel will show three more recent films: The Return, August and After, and April.
Link for more information: