During the summer of 2016, a fishing boat off the shores of Iceland made a most curious catch: four reels of 35mm film, seemingly of Soviet provenance. Unlike the film find explored in Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time, it turned out this discovery wasn’t a lost work of major importance, but an incomplete print of a popular comedy starring beloved Russian actor Mihail Žarov. Does that mean it has no value? Morrison thought not. To him, the heavily water-damaged print, and the way it surfaced, could be seen as a fitting reflection on the life of Žarov, who loved this role so much that he even co-directed a sequel to it. In The Village Detective: a song cycle Morrison uses the story as a jumping off point for his latest meditation on cinema’s past, offering a journey into Soviet history and film accompanied by a gorgeous score by Pulitzer and Grammy®-winning composer David Lang.
-Three short films by Bill Morrison: Buried News (2021, 12 minutes), let me come in (2021, 11 minutes), Sunken Films (2020, 11 minutes)