Decasia (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

Decasia 2001

Directed by Bill Morrison

Decasia is a jaw-dropping collage of decaying archival footage, which seems to melt, burn, drip and deteriorate before our very eyes.

USA
70 minutes B&W

Director, Editor

Music

Michael Gordon

Festivals

Sundance, Rotterdam 2002

Elsewhere

Decasia is a jaw-dropping collage of decaying archival footage, which seems to melt, burn, drip and deteriorate before our very eyes. It is no mere celebration of the psychedelic beauty of decay, however, for filmmaker Bill Morrison has chosen images of humanity pushing back against mortality and physical disintegration. His haunting tapestry of long-lost, partially erased images – a whirling dervish, a procession of missionary nuns, the rescue of a man from drowning, long-forgotten stars silently prancing and preening – testifies not only to the fragile nature of film but to our perpetual rage against the dying of the light. The sublimely eerie symphonic score by Michael Gordon has been likened to the sound of a plane crashing in slow motion. ” Decasia is that rare thing: a movie with avant-garde and universal appeal… Morrison is not the first artist to take decomposing film stock as his raw material, but he plunges into this dark nitrate of the soul with contagious abandon.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice