Devotional Cinema: New Films by Dorsky, Clipson, and Todd | Chicago Reader

Devotional Cinema: New Films by Dorsky, Clipson, and Todd

Nathaniel Dorsky, who's been making experimental films since the mid-1960s, claims his primary aim is to induce a prayer-like state in viewers. His silent 16-millimeter works decontextualize familiar objects by presenting them in extreme close-up or juxtaposing them with unrelated images; the tone is often innocent and serene. This program features two of Dorsky's more recent shorts, Pastourelle (2010) and The Return (2011), both of which center on natural imagery and achieve remarkable, highly nuanced effects with sunlight. The Return is the more impressive of the two: incorporating images of urban life and shots taken from an airplane window, Dorsky presents nature and civilization as part of the same awesome flow of existence. Also on the program are two shorts by younger filmmakers clearly influenced by Dorsky: Paul Clipson's Union (2010) and Robert Todd's Within (2011).

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