Frames Per Second: Nathaniel Dorsky

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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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