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Posts tagged “Nathaniel Dorsky

Poetry and Silence

Nathaniel Dorsky –

“In film, there are two ways of including human beings. One is depicting human beings.
Another is to create a film form which, in itself, has all the qualities of being human: tenderness, observation, fear, relaxation, the sense of stepping into the world and pulling back, expansion, contraction, changing, softening, tenderness of heart. The first is a form
of theater and the latter is a form of poetry.”

(Stills fron ‘Varations’)

“In my work, the screen itself is transformed into a speaking character, and the images themselves function as pure energy rather than acting as secondary symbol or as a source for information or storytelling. I put shots together to create a revelation of wisdom
through surprise. The cuts must offer something unexpected. The montage does not lead to verbal understanding as such, but is actual and present. The narrative is that which takes place between the viewer and the screen. By delicately shifting the weight and
solidity of the images, and bringing together subject matter not ordinarily associated, a deeper sense of meaningfulness can be manifested. The films are silent because silence allows the viewer to directly feel these delicate articulations of vision which are
simultaneously poetic and sculptural. Silence in cinema is undoubtedly an acquired taste,
but the freedom and intimacy it unveils for has many rich rewards.”

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Nathaniel Dorsky on how his films express themselves

“…from my point of view, cinema is narrative. It existed in time like music, like dance. No matter how abstract it is. There is some narrative quality. Within the traditional avant-garde of cinema, it is a reaction against the narrative, in various ways. I don’t think it’s ultimately successful. I feel that the film is narrative, and it must unfold in a narrative fashion. The nature of narrative doesn’t necessarily have to represent a language-based theatrical idea. So obviously I choose the first shot. And then I allow the film itself to declare the second shot. I am more of a dog who makes the sheep move. I work with the shots. The progression happens at the needs of the shots, not my needs. I am kind of a judge. I say, ok, make your move. It’s not a chance operation. It’s chance plus intelligence. For instance, your own mind, your precious human mind, all day has to do your work for you. Worried about yourself, worried about everything, get things done. Can you imagine how boring it is for your mind to take care of you? So thank god you go to sleep, and your mind can have a good time. It’s like when you go out of your apartment, your cats go crazy. Actually I have upstair neighbors in San Francisco. Whenever they went out, they have two cats, they went crazy. I have never told on them. So this is an opportunity for the film itself to have its own needs. Not our needs, but its own needs.