CROSSROADS 

1976, 35mm, b&w/sound, 37min.

Original music by Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley

"Operation Crossroads" was the name of the first two of twenty-three nuclear weapons tests the United States conducted at Bikini Atoll between 1946 and 1958. Both tests involved the detonation of a weapon with a yield equivalent to twenty-three million tons of TNT–the same as the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki. More than seven hundred cameras, and approximately five hundred camera operators surrounded the test site. Nearly half the world’s supply of film was at Bikini for the tests, making these explosions the most thoroughly photographed moment in history.

"Conner found a cataclysmic beauty in the declassified National Archives footage of the first underwater atomic bomb test “Baker Day”, which was conducted on Bikini Atoll on July 25, 1946. Twenty-three shots of the same explosion—at differing speeds and distances, from air, sea, and land—combined with a mesmerizing dual score by Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley to make of the destruction a kind of Cubist cosmic sublime."

– Josh Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive
Picture Restoration: NT Picture & Sound
Audio Restoration: Audio Mechanics

 

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