Friday, November 13, 2015, 7:30 pm

Films by Nathaniel Dorsky: How Delicately the Light Imbues our Fleeting Life

Program 2


701 Mission Street (at Third St)

San Francisco, CA 94103

Nathaniel Dorsky In Person
Presented in Association with Canyon Cinema and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Please note that this program also screens on Thursday, November 12
Please Note that this screening is SOLD OUT.
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…to create a film form which, in itself, has all the qualities of being human: tenderness, observation, fear, curiosity, the sense of stepping into the world, sudden murky disruptions and undercurrents, expansion, pulling back, contraction, relaxation, sublime revelation. In my work, the screen is transformed into a "speaking character", and the images 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 delicate surprise. The montage does not lead to verbal understanding, but is actual and present. The narrative is that which takes place between the viewer and the screen. Silence allows these delicate articulations of vision which are simultaneously poetic and sculptural to be fully experienced."
—Nathaniel Dorsky

With a delicate and unique clarity of focus, the serenely silent 16mm films of Bay Area treasure Nathaniel Dorsky embody a mindful concern for the epiphanies of each passing moment and a rare sensitivity to the ephemeralities of light. In celebration of the local premiere of four new films—each deeply concerned the delicacy and sorrow of being alive in the world—we present three silent evenings (and one afternoon) of this master filmmaker’s most recent works. (Steve Polta) Please note that this series of four screenings includes one program of four films which is screened on two evenings—Thursday, November 12 & Friday, November 13—and a second program presented in two variations on Saturday evening (November 14) and Sunday afternoon (November 15). Nathaniel Dorsky In Person at all screenings.

Screening Friday, November 13:
(2013): Summer in San Francisco is a dry and rainless season. The film, Summer, although photographed during this period of time, is not so much a description of summer, as it is a cinematic response to that world of our being.
December (2014): December was photographed during this often turbulent month and edited soon after. It has a purity of form which I find quite rewarding.
February (2014, second night Bay Area premiere): …photographed during the first weeks of early spring in San Francisco. For me there is a haunted sense of restlessness in its form, some desire for a new freedom, a fresh sense of cinema.
Avraham (2014, second night Bay Area premiere): In most of my films I have had the burden of adding a title afterwards. Sometimes the word or words would come automatically, but more often with great difficulty. In the case of Avraham, the title came first. It was not only the film’s inspiration but the very thing that determined every shot and every cut.

If we do relinquish control, we suddenly see a hidden world, one that has existed all along right in front of us. In a flash, the uncanny presence of the poetic and vibrant world, ripe with mystery, stands before us.
—Nathaniel Dorsky, Devotional Cinema

Pictured above: Nathaniel Dorsky: Avraham (2014)