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Nathaniel Dorsky

Nathaniel Dorsky in 1972

Nathaniel Dorsky is a major American filmmaker; not just a major American experimental filmmaker, but a major filmmaker, period. I’ve always thought such labels are meaningless, and that if work like Nick’s got wider distribution — obviously, his work is regularly screened at the NYFF and at museums and colleges around the country, but I’m talking about multiplexes here, which I know is a dream, but nevertheless, a positive dream — then people might not be so limited in their perception of what a movie is.

Films don’t necessarily need narrative; they don’t need CGI; they don’t need star casts; they need not conform to a specific running time. They need ideas, concepts, visual intelligence, and a new way of looking at the world around us, to discover the world’s raw beauty, and present a new way of seeing to the viewer. The work that Nick does is thus terribly important, and if you haven’t seen some of his work, I recommend that you seek it out, and do so.

Click this line for a link to collection of photos and essays on Nick’s work; it’s a solid introduction to a major artist.


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About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. To contact Prof. Dixon for an interview, reach him or his website,

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