Two of the San Francisco filmmaker’s new works were presented on the same reel of film in the festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde, Song and Spring.
Song is the darker hued of the two, showing texture behind textures, images as layers peelable as screens (doors, fabrics, movement) shift in the frame. Depth is later revealed through light, light distant from the camera and hidden behind things, the camera slowly racking focus to push us ever-so-gently through, to the light. Unlike some of Dorsky’s previous shorts, these images don’t feel found by a camera wandering shadow-obscured corners of the world, so much as ones called into being, a sense of the camera turned on and bringing forth this gentle luminosity.
Befitting its straightforward title, Spring showcases an active camera, mobile, pushy, so eager to film as to abut and touch its findings. It nearly seems to push open flowers, opening the season (and, surprisingly, the people in it) to the screen, a season both bustling, full of joyful commotion in the images, as well as slowly pulsating, camera-tough, frames webbed with detail. A repeated motif is of opening the aperture and letting in more light, undarkening the image, letting it breath in, deeply.
Each of these films radiates soul, so much so that when the films cut to black to signify their ending, it feels like a rare, fragile light has truly been extinguished, even if the projector is still running and still throwing dark shadows on the screen. What follows that black is a group hush which can come only after the end of something held with such care and suspended with bated breath.
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