7.4/10
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21 user 43 critic

Decasia (2002)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 3 October 2003 (UK)
A meditation on the human quest to transcend physicality, constructed from decaying archival footage and set to an original symphonic score.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tsuru Aoki ...
(archive footage)
Margaret Cullington ...
Maggie Jiggs (archive footage)
...
(archive footage)
...
(archive footage)
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Storyline

Black and white stock footage, much of it scratched or blistered, illustrates a Michael Gordon symphony. A whirling dervish, couples laughing, a soldier trying to take advantage of a flower vendor, a camel caravan moving across the horizon, a single plane and then others, paratroopers in the sky, a mining disaster, a pugilist, nuns and children at a school - some images last a few seconds, others for a minute or more. The scratches, blisters, and bygone look of the footage suggest time's passage. Only the dervish, who begins and ends the film, is intact. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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3 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Aposynthesia  »

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Trivia

Selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in December 2013. See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of Hortense K. Becker, (1902-2001) 'Big Non' See more »

Connections

Features A Tokyo Siren (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

The Anti-Koyaanisqatsi
26 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

Close to 70 minutes of footage that is rotting away, accompanied by a discordant symphony. It sounds like slow torture, and to some, it may be. But to me, it was like looking at visions of a lost civilization. Trying to scry the images out of decomposing footage was akin to reconstructing a piece of pottery from shattered fragments.

The "decaying" music was a haunting accompaniment to the film, complete with detuned pianos and an orchestra that played out of phase with itself. But the visuals hit me the hardest.

This is what happens to film if we neglect it. All those visions of the past are being lost forever to time and the elements. The silver nitrate base of those films decomposes at the same rate as human flesh! To me, the film was both a poetic look at decay, something that happens to everyone and everything, as well as how our cinematic history is vanishing as we speak.

It goes without saying that this film is not for everyone, but if you truly want to step outside the boundaries of conventional cinematography, this is it!


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