This Tuesday, the Miami Jewish Film Festival will feature a series of experimental, avant-garde films by two of contemporary movie-making's greats. Bill Morrison and his regular collaborator composer, Michael Gordon, will appear for an evening of seven short films, conversation, and live music at the Miami Beach Cinematheque.
Morrision and Gordon will discuss both their old and new works. The two are probably best known for Decasia, a 70-minute film from 2003 made from early silent films in various states of decay. The images on damaged and/or neglected, highly combustible nitrate film were altered only by their natural decay over time. The decay turned human figures ghostly by adding halos or simply rendering them abstract blotches. Morrison didn't manipulate or tamper with the images; he simply recontextualized the old film by editing it to Gordon's brooding, minimalist music. The result is a transcendental if abstract meditation on the ephemeral quality of film and, by extension, life.