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Bill Morrison's most legendary piece, Decasia, was added to the National Film Registry a few years ago. It's an amazing piece of art, really one of the most impressive acts of a film artist ever done. It's almost a dance piece, and the most memorable piece is literally a dance film. The use of decaying film, the way in which it is manipulated, and the dark, deep tone of the imagery and music all make it an amazing piece.
But that's nothing compared to Light is Calling.
Morrison may work with found film better than any other human alive. He not only works with found footage, but with the film itself, using the decay as an element that creates amazing amounts of visual interest. The first portion of Light is Calling is nearly an Abstract Expressionist painting come rolling to life, as if Franz Kline had set his work to celluloid, or we'd ventured into a Dali background. The piece gains recognisable images, a young woman seemingly calling out to us across the swirling grey, sepia, and black. Civil War soldiers on horseback, riding through the smoke of the damaged film. Yes, this is similar to Morrison's earlier masterpiece, but there is an innocence to this piece, as if we're being told something very private, very secret. Sacred. The music, beautifully lyrical violin and a drone that draws strength from the imagery, is some of Michael Gordon's most effecting. I've heard a lot of his work (and my 1 year old JohnPaul LOVES his stuff as much as he does Philip Glass!) and this is my favorite piece.
In 8 minutes, Morrison nails every frame, creating something new within a field he's plowed before. I can't say enough about how moving this work iss.
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.