Review – Decasia


Decasia, created by Bill Morrison is as disturbing as it is moving. With an original discordant score by Michael Gordon the film is created from old silent movie footage slowly decaying. It feels almost like the story of life how everything decays in the end both physically and in the arts as scenes that people worked so hard to create fall into disrepair being warped and twisted beyond recognition.

Yet at the same time from decay comes something hauntingly beautiful and you can’t fail to be transfixed by the moving images on the screen in front of you. You wouldn’t think that the scratches and light leaks of a damaged film could create such impact, both the decaying footage and the viewers mind work together in a clashing collaboration creating new narratives.

The music also is intensely evocative and adds emotion and feeling to the damaged works. At one point it is like a swarm of bees have appeared on screen disfiguring faces and people and the music reinforces this with high pitched, I think it might be the violin.

On a slightly humous note yet at only occasional parts it could be seen to mirror the effect the Snowman movie has. As each picture in the Snowman is drawn by hand the texture of clothing, landscape and buildings shimmer with different texture and positioning which is a really beautiful and visually appealing effect.

It shows that beauty can be found in anything including decay. From death comes life and it quite poignant that this relates also to the damaged films. Each blur and stain become elements in a movie to create effect and drama. Whilst beautiful it can also be seen as eerie, haunting, perhaps even disturbing as faces are twisted and distorted beyond recognition echoing Edward Munches The Scream. The boxer fighting an opponent who is trapped neath a blur of white feels like he is battling against some supernatural shapeshifting spectre.

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