minute 03


Some reels are born
Giant spools
Lower them into amniotic fluid

The camera pans
Much like a loving father
Across the pitch-black incubator

Its blackness
As empty
As the films it bathes

Still untouched
They are but mirrors
Reflecting no light

Butman’s imagination

Built to preserve
To alter reality
To withstand time

To mock death
And to defy its permanence
To overcome the transience of nature

These reels are born
Unanimated matter
Yet creating life

And over

Annotations to Birth           

In my poem on the third minute of Decasia, I tried to convey the mood of the picture with words. Although I am not sure if this is how film reelsare industrially produced, the intro scene undeniably reminds of birth, especially in terms of the anonymous hand reaching into the black fluid to examine one of the reels. Upon watching the clip, I was under the strange impression of attending childbirth through the eyes of someone, maybe the father, who seeks to preserve this moment with a camera. Morrison’s choice to begin Decasia, a film about the decay of film, with the manufacturing of brand new reels is most certainly not coincidental.
The birth-like situation, however, is only half of what this third minute invoked in me while watching. Another very dominant feeling was indeed quite opposite to the joy usually felt when around newborns. The monotonous coldness of the giant spools at the very beginning are a somewhat loathsome sight and underline that this is no organic matter being produced in the batch. Hence, I chose to point out that the reels were „inanimate“.
The first part is concluded with the single line „But man’s imagination“, as I proceed to further elaborate on the quality and ability of film to serve as a portal to an alternate reality and to withstand time (at least for a certain period). Paradoxically, the technically lifeless product’s main function is to incite life in its beholder: I assume that motion pictures are particularly used to invoke feelings in the audience, be it a narrative, documentary, or, like Decasia, an experimental piece of artwork. Thus is its notion to affect the lives of others and although ist content might be blurred, fuzzy, unrealistic, sketchy or random, it becomes real the very instant it has taken an impact on the viewer. In addition, it is a repetitive medium: the sequence of images can be replayed at will.Hence, I finished with the (a bit cheesy) stanza: „Over/ And Over/ Again“.
In fact, Decasia tries to mess with this very condition: it emphasizes the decay of an initially preservative medium. Ironically, this effort is conservative itself.

Joseph Möller