Filtering by: Bruce Conner
CROSSROADS
Jun
29
12:00 PM12:00

CROSSROADS

CROSSROADS, 1976, 35mm, b&w/sound, 36 min.

CROSSROADS captures the fascination with the atomic bomb in all its destructive, horrifying and beautiful power. Made from research footage by the United States Joint Army/Navy Task Force of the first nuclear tests in the summer of 1946, the film shows extreme slow- and fast-motion replays of the detonation of the atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll, 90 feet under the Pacific Ocean. The event, covertly named Operation: Crossroads, was one of the most documented events in the history of the 20th century. In fact, the recording used so much film stock that it triggered a global shortage. The artist obtained the footage by petitioning the government for the declassified but unreleased footage. He created this landmark film which, at 36 minutes, became the longest film of his career. This hypnotic epic pairs Patrick Gleeson’s intense ambient sound in the first half with Terry Riley’s dreamy trance music in the second half.

Complimentary screenings will take place at 12pm, 3pm, & 6pm.

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A MOVIE
Jul
6
12:00 PM12:00

A MOVIE

A MOVIE, 1958, 16mm, b&w/sound, 12 min

 A MOVIE is Bruce Conner’s first and best-known film. Comprised of discarded 16mm films purchased at flea markets or scavenged from camera shops, A MOVIE is a landmark work in American experimental cinema and is widely regarded as the first contemporary found footage film. Here Conner orchestrates a virtual symphony of disasters, car crashes, explosions, war, famine, as well as serene moments of grace—a tightrope act, a plane floating through clouds, light reflected on water—cut to Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome.  Although seemingly random in its sequence of imagery, A MOVIE abstractly yet deftly moves the viewer through a wide range of human experience and emotion. The film was selected for preservation in 1991 by the United States National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.

Complimentary screenings will take place at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm.

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REPORT
Jul
20
12:00 PM12:00

REPORT

REPORT, 1963-1967, 16mm, b&w/sound, 13min

Haunted by John F Kennedy’s assassination, Bruce Conner obsessively filmed television coverage of the shooting, funeral and aftermath. He repurposed the footage to explore the phenomenon of the news media as a means of processing the event. Comprised of two parts, the first addresses the assassination directly through radio broadcast recounting the frenzied aftermath of the gunshots. Brief television clips from the day are repeated, extended, and reordered, their familiar images becoming increasingly strange with each iteration. Intercut with alternating clear and black celluloid that accelerates to stroboscopic effect, the act concludes with audio confirmation of Kennedy’s death set to a recursive countdown. 

The second part of REPORT, the epilogue, explores the media’s deification, commodification and obscuration of the president. Radio commentary of Kennedy’s arrival in Dallas plays against archival footage of him spliced with a multiplicity of symbolic appropriated scenes: a bullfight, Hollywood films, television advertisements, WWII battles. In sum, the film’s two acts tease the viewer by omitting footage of the actual shooting, foregrounding the power of the media to shape a national narrative. Compelling the viewer to unscramble its high-density plot, REPORT collapses the personal with the public.

 Complimentary screenings will take place at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm.

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VALSE TRISTE & MARILYN TIMES FIVE
Jul
27
12:00 PM12:00

VALSE TRISTE & MARILYN TIMES FIVE

VALSE TRISTE, 1978, 16mm, sepia/sound, 5 minutes

VALSE TRISTE wistfully recalls Bruce Conner’s boyhood in 1940s Kansas. While the artist’s early films were almost exclusively made in black and white, here he films in sepia tones to create a poetic and highly intimate film. Using found footage of Kansas homesteads, small-town life and family scenes, Conner creates a non-narrative but highly associative filmic sequence. Montages of random yet familiar imagery appear throughout the film: a paperboy cycles down a street, a couple in overcoats enter a taxi, cars crawl down long roads, a man and a boy build a bonfire, a family pose by their farm. The film also pays deep homage to the Surrealists and trance films. Conner re-creates his childhood as a pre-WWII American dreamland past accompanied by the theme music from the radio program I Love a Mystery and Jean Sibelius’ orchestra.

MARILYN TIMES FIVE, 1968-1973, b&w/sound, 13 minutes 30 seconds

Created from 1968 to 1973, MARILYN TIMES FIVE is composed of clips from “The Apple Knockers and the Coke”—a 1948 girlie film featuring actress and Marilyn Monroe look-a-like, Arline Hunter. As Monroe’s song, “I’m Through With Love,” plays five times, footage of Hunter seductively posing for the camera is interrupted by fragments of black leader. Conner edits the film to arouse and frustrate the viewer’s desire to see. Extensive repetition, abrupt abbreviations, gradually protracted excerpts, and non-linear sequencing reveals film to be merely a subjective construct—one which commodifies celebrity and exploits women. “In total, the object of desire in MARILYN is mediated by so many factors—from Marilyn Monroe’s death and the age of the original film to the lethargic pace and absence of narrative closure in Conner’s version—that is transmogrified into something truly strange, at once erotic and deadened.” (Hatch, 179)

Complimentary screenings will take place at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm.

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