Bill Morrison -- his films resemble nobody else's that I've ever seen -- is an acquired taste. The first film of his I recall viewing (Decasia, when it first hit video some years back) seemed so strange that I could only now and then connect to it. It was too much for me. Still, it stayed with me over time and in ways I didn't expect. It was his 2010 short film The Miners' Hymns that finally got me hooked. By the time his The Great Flood opened at NYC's IFC Center last year, I'd become a fan -- despite the hugely hypnotic quality embedded in his work that can sometimes have me drifting off to sleep.
BEYOND ZERO: 1914-1918, takes as its subject The 'Great' War, WWI, but as ever, Morrison's real subject goes far beyond this -- to time and decay and the human condition and, hell, a whole lot more. And he gives it to us in a style that is all his own: alternately moving, chilling, hypnotic and while sometimes confusing, always fascinating to view.
Aleksandra Vrebalov and played by Kronos Quartet, shown above, as one of the visuals roll by) and the vivid, haunting images, there's plenty to ponder and digest.
Benjamin Britten's War Requiem -- not in style but in achievement. And the visuals simply amaze and then haunt.
Icarus Films is available now on DVD.