Devotion, Poetry, and Vision: Films of Nathaniel Dorsky and Jerome Hiler


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hiler icon-01Devotion, Poetry, and Vision: Films of Nathaniel Dorsky and Jerome Hiler

Still image from the films Prelude and Words of Mercury
For half a century, Nathaniel Dorsky and Jerome Hiler have been creative collaborators, partners, and inspiration to one another in their personal lives and work as filmmakers. The two met in 1964 at a screening of Dorsky’s Ingreen, as both were beginning to make films on 16mm in New York City. This was a golden era of experimental filmmaking with icons like Jonas Mekas, Gregory Markopoulos, Marie Menken, and Stan Brakhage trying to shatter the traditional language of film. Dorsky is considered a master of color, restraint, and montage, with a respect for his images as they reveal themselves and their truth. Hiler, whose films have influenced many experimental filmmakers including Dorsky and Warren Sonbert, revels in the variations in light. His obsessions and precision with the use of light, rhythm, and visual poetry are rooted in his history as a painter, stained-glass artist, and lover of ancient and obscure forms of music. For both, the medium of film and its materiality—imperfect, magical, and fragile—cannot be separated from the work. Neither filmmaker would present their work publicly for years, only screening in their home for a small circle of friends. Over the past two decades, their films have reached beyond the living room, being screened in renowned programs around the world. This series features their most recent films, including a ‘work in progress’ from each filmmaker. All films will be projected in 16mm, with some being the only copy in existence. This program is presented with support from the Underground Film series. Special thanks to The Speed Museum, Speed Cinema, its curator, Dean Otto, Owsley Brown III, and Russell Sheaffer.

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