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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 6, 2005

Filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky To Visit UI Oct. 14-15 For Readings, Film Screenings

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky will visit the University of Iowa Oct. 14 and 15 to read from his book "Devotional Cinema" and join audiences for free, public screenings of his films. The readings and film screenings will begin at 8 p.m. each night in Room 101, Becker Communication Studies Building.

On Friday, Oct. 14, "The Visitation" (2002, 16mm, silent 18 min.) and "Threnody" (2004, 16mm, silent 25 min.) will be screened. On Saturday, Oct. 15, the films will be "Alaya" (1976-87, 16mm, silent, 28 min.) and "Love's Refrain" (2000-01, 16mm, silent, 22.5 min.)

Dorsky has been making films for more than 30 years. His work has been shown at museums, festivals and galleries internationally, and his films are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Pacific Film Archives (Berkeley), Image Forum (Tokyo) and Centre  Georges Pompidou (Paris). His films are elegant, full of majesty yet imbued with quiet. His camera captures those moments in daily life that often elude us, giving the viewer a new outlook in familiar surroundings. His films are silent and projected at silent speed as a way of allowing the audience an entry point into the work.

In 2003, Tuumba Press published "Devotional Cinema," originally given as a lecture in 2001 at Princeton during a conference on film and religion. The slim volume offers his understanding of "devotion" not as an experience specific to religion but rather as "the opening or the interruption that allows us to experience what is hidden and accept with our hearts our given situation."

Dorsky lives in San Francisco, where he makes a living as a film editor, editing documentaries that often appear on American public television and the festival circuit. In 1967, he won an Emmy award for his photographic work on the CBS production "Gauguin in Tahiti: Search for Paradise."

Dorsky's visit to the UI is sponsored by the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and by the Institute for Cinema and Culture. For more information or special accommodations to attend this event, please contact Alexis Bravos at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Alexis Bravos,