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Decasia (2002)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0

audience

84

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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 619

My Rating

Movie Info

Experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison created this non-narrative feature, which derives a large portion of its visual beauty from the physical nature of the film medium itself. Decasia is primarily compiled from a wealth of old and damaged footage, in which the scratches, scraped emulsion, bubbles, streaks, and decaying nitrate add an extra dimension of texture to a patchwork of images both extraordinary and mundane. Originally created as part of a multimedia environmental performance piece, with

Jan 27, 2004

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (2) | DVD (4)

Decasia is what has happened already to so many silent movies, newsreels and the like. The unexpected thing is that its dying, in this shower of black-and-white psychedelia, is quite beautiful.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is a fierce dance of destruction. Its flame-like, roiling black-and-white inspires trembling and gratitude.

March 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As a musical piece, it is...able to convey mixed emotions within a very dissonant setting. But the film that goes along with it has a harder time selling its sense of self.

August 30, 2005 Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com
DVDTalk.com

It's for those who like curio films.

January 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

By presenting images that are in advanced stages of decomposition Morrison is agitating in the most powerful way on behalf of the archives fighting to rescue their holdings from disintegration.

December 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Like Brakhage, Morrison contemplates the nature of film itself and, like Conner, he conjures an apocalyptic vision. In Decasia's case, this comes from the deformation, which turns ordinary scenes into horror-movie spectacle. Of course, despite the formal

October 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A mesmerising meditation on life, death and cinema that recalls the heyday of the 60s avant-garde.

September 30, 2003 Full Review Source: BBC.com
BBC.com

Simultaneously heartbreakingly beautiful and exquisitely sad.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

I'm sure the filmmaker would disagree, but, honestly, I don't see the point. It's a visual Rorschach test and I must have failed.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Others, more attuned to the anarchist maxim that 'the urge to destroy is also a creative urge', or more willing to see with their own eyes, will find Morrison's iconoclastic uses of technology to be liberating.

August 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

If you're the kind of parent who enjoys intentionally introducing your kids to films which will cause loads of irreparable damage that years and years of costly analysis could never fix, I have just one word for you -- Decasia

March 29, 2002
Planet Sick-Boy

Bill Morrison's Decasia is uncompromising, difficult and unbearably beautiful.

January 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Decasia

This film is much more interesting to read about than to actually sit through. At best, one might process it as sort of a Koyaaniqatsi-like head flick, where a montage of disconnected, slow-motion clips is accompanied with a minimalist score. But the score (composed by Bang on a Can's Michael Gordon, channeling Philip Glass and Glenn Branca) is just ugly and nagging, and a high-concept film like this really needs seductive music to sustain its momentum. Even at a mere 70 minutes, the film still felt too long.
December 4, 2009
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Decasia is an interesting concept. Take a large batch of decayed film and play it with all the phantoms created through time with appropriate music. The music chosen however doesn't change substantially throughout the production and as a result, you get repetition and boredom. It's kind of like an art gallery exhibit that you find fascinating..for two minutes.
December 27, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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