7.3/10
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22 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.

Director:

Bill Morrison

Writer:

Bill Morrison

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tsuru Aoki ... Geisha (archive footage)
Julia Calhoun ... Old Angry Woman (archive footage)
Margaret Cullington Margaret Cullington ... Maggie Jiggs (archive footage)
William S. Hart ... Cowboy (archive footage)
Eddie Lyons ... Laughing Clerk (archive footage)
Marc McDermott ... Judge (archive footage)
Mary Pickford ... (archive footage)
Willie Ritchie Willie Ritchie ... Boxer (archive footage)
Pearl White ... Laughing Woman (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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Bill Morrison Film | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Aposynthesia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first film from the 2000's to be inducted into the National Film Registry. Which also makes it the first film from the 21st century to be inducted. See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Features Father's Close Shave (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chaos rules!
12 May 2017 | by rzajacSee all my reviews

I loved Decasia, but for reasons that might evade others. Hence, I'm not inclined to recommend it.

I get a wonderful, visceral response to extremely complex noise and chaos, and Decasia is nothing if not a rampaging smorgasbord of same. So, I was in heaven, watching it.

I got a kick out of the music. I spent some of my viewing time reflecting on the composer's process. Fascinating!

I suppose I should chime in on the mythic payload. Respectable, seasoned commentators ply a line about the film as a commentary on "morals". Pishposh! If I take away any arc from this piece, it's a running commentary on decay; that chaos deserves our respect. It a powerful idea. It's another reality that, once we face it, pushes us to self- actualization. It reminds me of the aesthetic of John Cage in this regard.

One of my disappointments (strange to say, in light of what I said above) was discovering that the film's decay effects were also "found". Those effects were so wild, wooly, rich, redolent that I entertained (for the filmmaker) the conceit that they were meticulously engineered. Well, they *were* engineered, but by Loki, Eris, Kali, et.al. Which makes it all only that much more impressive, come to think of it....


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