If you don’t know Bill Morrison, you ought to. The bracingly original director of “Decasia,” a 2002 favorite of Errol Morris and J. Hoberman and an entry in the National Film Registry, has defined avant-garde cinema for over two decades. At last, his restored body of work comes to DVD and VOD this Fall from Icarus Films.
“Bill Morrison: Collected Works (1996-2013)” will hit shelves and digital platforms on September 23, just a few weeks before the Museum of Modern Art mounts a major New York retrospective of his singular shorts and features (October 14-November 21).
The 16 films in the set include a Blu-ray of “Decasia,” Morrison’s electrifying collage of decayed found footage pulled from the early 20th century, with an unsettling score by composer Michael Gordon. J. Hoberman wrote, “The film is a fierce dance of destruction. Its flame-like, roiling black-and-white inspires trembling and gratitude.”
“Decasia” is a great place to start for Morrison neophytes, as many of his films share this fascination with the physicals textures of the medium, and how it might be reclaimed. Celluloid may be perishing, but Bill Morrison keeps finds new ways to work with it.