San Francisco filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky’s silent, meditative, and visually lush movies eschew not only plot but other conventional forms of organization as well. No obvious rhythmic or thematic principles link their images; Dorsky strives to release the viewer from tension, expectation, and interpretation. Alaya is a study of sand. In extreme close-up each grain is a light-filled multicolored crystal. The sand is blown by the wind; it makes tiny ridges. Images run together not according to the traditional laws of montage but as water flows, from still pools to rapids to waterfalls. In Triste, images appear in color and black and white, positive and negative. The rich greens of a baseball field, viewed from an upper deck, are framed by silhouettes in the foreground and a brightly colored crowd across the park. The shot has less to do with the game than with different kinds of color and light. Tiny figures on a walkway seem dwarfed by a frothy sea below, the individuals like tiny pinpricks in the film’s almost tidal flow. On the same program: Pneuma. Dorsky will attend the screening. Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Sunday, May 4, 7:00, 773-384-5533. –Fred Camper
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Uncredited photo of “Triste”.