Frames Per Second: Nathaniel Dorsky

As part of Plug’s continuing FPS program, Nathaniel Dorsky’s films “Arbor Vitae” and “Song” were screened on their original 16mm.  Dorsky’s films create singular and transformative experiences when screened. Dorsky’s life-long project of creating a “Devotional Cinema” has been likened to the laborious practice of creating medieval illuminated manuscripts and prayer books, and his cine-poems have long been regarded as pinnacles of film form.

Nathaniel Dorsky is a filmmaker of singular devotion to his craft. He has created 29 films in over 50 years of filmmaking with rigorous self-imposed restrictions and a meticulous personal vision. Making and exhibiting films only on 16mm, he is interested in the ways in which the mindful viewing of cinema can have a transformative effect on the health and consciousness of its audience, seeking to produce the ‘elemental glory’ of film. According to Dorsky, watching a film “has tremendous mystical implications; it can be, at its best, a way of approaching and manifesting the ineffable.”

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