Nathaniel DORSKY

Nationality: american

Raised in New York on a steady diet of Westerns and Disney True-Life Adventures, Nathaniel Dorsky started shooting 8mm movies at the age of eleven. In 1963, when he had just turned 20, he made Ingreen, a boldly symbolic psychodrama about a young man’s sexual coming of age. At that film’s premiere, he met soon-to-be fellow filmmaker Jerome Hiler, who would become his partner in life and a major inspiration for his work. (“We were filming for one another,” Hiler recently said.) In 1971 the two moved to San Francisco, where they’ve lived ever since. Around the same time, Dorsky entered a decade-long creative silence. He returned in 1982 with Hours for Jerome, a 55-minute feature compiled from footage shot between 1966 and 1970. Like all of Dorsky’s subsequent work, it’s a kind of cinematic lyric poem, entirely silent and rooted in a centuries-old tradition of devotional art (in this case, medieval illuminated manuscripts and prayer books).

The rest of the Eighties found Dorsky experimenting with new forms and materials: 1987’s Alaya was made up entirely of footage of shifting sand, and 1983’s Ariel, which had a rare public screening at this year’s New York Film Festival, is a beautiful hand-processed film full of thin, tremulous vertical lines and see-sawing horizontals. It was with 1996’s Triste—edited from over 20 years’ worth of footage—that Dorsky, as he once put it, fully arrived at “the level of cinema language that I have been working towards.” Since then, he’s made 16 luminous, description-defying short films, each with their own distinct tones and shadings. In films like Compline (09), August and After (12), and his two most recent titles, Spring and Song, Dorsky creates what he’s often called a “floating world,” in which street scenes, household interiors, meadows, rivers and forests are transformed into playgrounds for light, color and shadow. In a field often dominated by frenetic cutting and/or prolonged stasis, Dorsky’s films unfurl gradually but steadily in a kind of hushed suspension. They’re often attempts to do with light and texture what, in his book Devotional Cinema, Dorsky praised Mozart for having done in key changes and melodic lines: to “wed [a] style to the human metabolism in every detail"
by Max Nelson

32 MOVIES IN DISTRIBUTION

COLOPHON - (for the Arboretum Cycle)
2018 / color / silent / single screen / 13' 05 / 53 €
distribution: 16mm
ARBORETUM CYCLE
2017 / color / silent / single screen / 137' 00 / 570 €
distribution: 16mm
AUTUMN
2016 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 26' 00 / 104 €
distribution: 16mm
THE DREAMER
2016 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 19' 00 / 80 €
distribution: 16mm
INTIMATIONS
2015 / color / silent / single screen / 18' 00 / 72 €
distribution: 16mm
PRELUDE
2015 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 20' 00 / 80 €
distribution: 16mm
AVRAHAM
2014 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 20' 00 / 80 €
distribution: 16mm
DECEMBER
2014 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 14' 50 / 60 €
distribution: 16mm
FEBRUARY
2014 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 16' 50 / 70 €
distribution: 16mm
SONG
2013 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 18' 30 / 76 €
distribution: 16mm
SPRING
2013 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 23' 00 / 92 €
distribution: 16mm
SUMMER
2013 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 22' 50 / 92 €
distribution: 16mm
APRIL
2012 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 26' 00 / 104 €
distribution: 16mm
AUGUST AND AFTER
2012 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 18' 30 / 76 €
distribution: 16mm
THE RETURN
2011 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 27' 00 / 108 €
distribution: 16mm
AUBADE
2010 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 11' 30 / 48 €
distribution: 16mm
PASTOURELLE
2010 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 16' 50 / 70 €
distribution: 16mm
COMPLINE
2009 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 18' 30 / 76 €
distribution: 16mm
SARABANDE
2008 / color / silent / single screen / 15' 00 / 60 €
distribution: 16mm
WINTER
2007 / color / silent / single screen / 18' 50 / 76 €
distribution: 16mm
SONG AND SOLITUDE
2005-2006 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 21' 00 / 84 €
distribution: 16mm
THRENODY
2003-2004 / color / silent / single screen / 20' 00 / 80 €
distribution: 16mm
THE VISITATION
2002 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 18' 00 / 72 €
distribution: 16mm
LOVE'S REFRAIN
2000-2001 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 22' 30 / 92 €
distribution: 16mm
ARBOR VITAE
1999-2000 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 28' 00 / 112 €
distribution: 16mm
VARIATIONS
1992-1998 / color / silent / single screen / 24' 00 / 96 €
distribution: 16mm
TRISTE
1978-1996 / color / silent / single screen / 18' 30 / 76 €
distribution: 16mm
17 REASONS WHY
1985-1987 / 16mm / color / silent / single screen / 20' 00 / 80 €
distribution: 16mm
ALAYA
1976-1987 / color / silent / single screen / 28' 00 / 112 €
distribution: 16mm
PNEUMA
1977-1983 / color / silent / single screen / 27' 00 / 108 €
distribution: 16mm
HOURS FOR JEROME - Part I
1966-1982 / color / silent / single screen / 21' 00 / 84 €
distribution: 16mm
HOURS FOR JEROME - Part II
1966-1982 / color / sound / single screen / 24' 00 / 96 €
distribution: 16mm