Walker Art Center

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Decasia: The State of Decay

Director Bill Morrison present for a post-screening discussion

Part of Expanding the Frame: For the Love of Film

“Bill Morrison’s Decasia is that rare thing: a movie with avant-garde and universal appeal. Its flame-like, roiling black-and-white inspires trembling and gratitude.” —Village Voice

Bill Morrison’s best-known film, a mesmerizing tour de force, is as much about moving images as it is about the physical artifact of film. He transforms the decomposition of a strip of film into an assemblage of life and beauty, one that flows between abstraction and reality. Michael Gordon’s haunting score creates an all-encompassing experience of cinematic grandeur. Not unlike our own existence, Decasia is a celebration of temporality with the ephemeral frame-by-frame resonance that translates the effects of the natural world. 2002, video, 64 minutes.

Preceded by Light Is Calling. This meditation on the random and fleeting nature of life and love, as seen through the roiling emulsion of an ancient film, features a scene from James Young’s The Bells (1926) and a seven-minute composition by Michael Gordon. 2004, 35mm, 8 minutes.

A discussion with the director follows the screening.


The Expanding the Frame series is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.