Bill Morrison's Hypnotic Pictures
The program is a collaboration with VIDEOEX (Patrick Huber).
The screening includes a lottery for the Festival bag
The images that Bill Morrison gives a second aesthetic life in his works can never be too old. Often, the celluloid strips, which he discovers in the archives with the instinct of an archaeologist, barely reveal what they once were, or what story they once told. In the eyes of Morrison, film is an undertow of material, montage and music. It is poetry. And it is decay. His works reflect an intimate preoccupation with nitrocellulose film, which produces images of breath-taking beauty: the trained painter exploits the natural decomposition of original silent films, where heat, moisture or mould have left their mark. He creates slow motion and repetition and often stages his works in parallel to the music on the soundtrack, which at times is the film's starting point, at times its protagonist, and often both. What's more: through Morrison's virtuoso imagery, the hypnotic pieces by composers such as Yo La Tengo, Bill Frisell or Lambchop become initiators of a cinematic narration that is chafed by friction, searches for synergies and finds its sensual and surreal power in contrasts and collisions.
Bildrausch is showing a cross-section of this remarkable oeuvre: alongside early works such as Death Train (1994) or The Film of Her (1996) about seeing and decaying are gentle romances such as Light is Calling (2004) and The Ring (2021), which always bear within them a deep love of cinema itself. In addition, the forces of nature, history and evolution find their way into the works. The films that Morrison creates from the disused images always exhibit both an archaic vehemence and a strong modern element at the same time. (pj)
Light is Calling
USA 2004. 8 Min.
Color. 35mm. Without dialogue
A love story that could not be more hypnotic and mysterious: Based on a deteriorating scene from James Young's silent film The Bells (1926) Morrison stages the encounter between a woman and a ...> more
The Death Train
USA 1993. 17 Min.
bw. 16mm. E
A train races down the tracks, through tunnels, through landscapes, through time. Shadowy archive material overlaps with zoetrope animation, mid-century newsreel footage and educational films, to ...> more
The Dockworker’s Dream
Portugal, USA 2016. 18 Min.
bw. DCP. E
Portugal in the 1920s? Perhaps even earlier. A dream? Or simply notes from a life as it unfolds in the factories, on the streets and at the harbour. Plus, a safari. Or could it possibly be seen as a ...> more
The Film of Her
USA 1996. 12 Min.
bw. 35mm. E
When Library of Congress clerk Howard L. Walls happens to come across the paper print collection in the archives he is immediately besotted with his discovery: A vaultful of paper reels, documenting ...> more
USA 2021. 8 Min.
sw. 35mm. Without dialogue
Morrison’s latest work shows how much joy and wonder can be created by a small white mark on screen. Featuring footage from a damaged 35mm print of Miloš Forman's Czech classic Loves of a ...> more
Who by Water
USA 2007. 18 Min.
bw. DV. Without dialogue
Joy and expectation, fear and hesitation are shown in the faces of the passengers that, in Who By Water, are preparing for their departure. Some of them wave full of hope at those they leave behind, ...> more