Bill Morrison, experimental film director and miner of archival moving images, arrives Thursday for a three day, nine film program in the Walker Cinema as part of this year’s Expanding the Frame. Bill will be on hand at all screenings to discuss his work, but he was kind enough to answer a few questions that inquire just a little bit beyond his professional life.
Describe a recent dream?
I realize this may sound like a fake dream, but I recently dreamt that I was standing amongst The Beatles as they were performing (which was awesome) but that they were all dwarves, or Little People (which was kind of weird). I think it was the only time I have ever dreamt about either the Beatles or Little People. It reminded me of that brilliant scene in Living in Oblivion where Peter Dinklage tells Steve Buscemi that the only place he’s ever seen a dwarf in a dream “is in stupid movies like this!” Now I’m remembering that the Beatles were briefly portrayed as dwarves in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, which also could have been a dream sequence. OK, next question.
What is your favorite place in the world?
A small cottage in Riverhead, NY, overlooking the Long Island Sound.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
Oh a person, definitely.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Right now it’s Matzos Ball Soup.
What have you been listening to lately?
Today it was Wayne Shorter, Adam’s Apple. I never grow tired of that record.
Last month I listened to Brian Eno’s latest release, Lux, continuously for three days straight while recovering from surgery and deep in the throes of morphine. It held up.
What was the last film you saw?
I watched a few hours of Christian Marclay’s The Clock at MoMA – one of the great masterpieces of our time. An almost unbelievable achievement.
What’s your most vivid Minneapolis memory?
I don’t know if this qualifies as a Minneapolis memory, but when I was 19 I started biking from Minneapolis to Chicago. I got across the Mississippi, but then I found I had to start pedaling uphill for many miles. A pickup truck came along and gave me ride up out of the valley. Then I rode until it got dark and I found a bar to drink beer and eat burgers and watch basketball. Around closing time I asked if it would be OK if I crashed there and they gave me a room upstairs.
If you could travel back in time to any place, where and when would it be?
I would like to see America in the 15th century, before any Europeans arrived.
Black Elk spoke about the time when the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds ran together, which always struck me as a beautiful description of an entirely different way of relating to the world. If I had to choose a spot, I would start with the island of Manhattan.