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12 JULY 2005

Bill Morrison's Decasia: Decomposition Disrupting A Smooth Transfer Between Images

"Like many experimental filmmakers, [Bill] Morrison is fascinated more by the physical properties of film than its use as a transparent medium for the projection of images, an orientation he chalks up to his background in painting. In its pristine state, celluloid is a flat, smooth strip which passes effortlessly through a projector. But as it begins to decay, the celluloid buckles and shrinks and the image–fixing emulsion disintegrates — spectacularly in the case of volatile nitrate stock, which was the industry standard until 1951. Such decomposition is a preservationist's worst nightmare, but for Morrison, it represents a way of disrupting the smooth transfer between images which, 24 times a second, characterises traditional narrative film."

Sam Adams (Philadelphia City Paper)



2002avant-garde • Bill Morrison • cameraless cinema • celluloid • Decasia • decay • decompose • filmmakerfoundfound footagematerialist cinemamateriality • nitrate film • preservation • Sam Adams • USA

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