Film in the Cities | Bruce Conner

Filmmaker Bruce Conner mines, sifts and salvages through, the spiraling effluvia of our audio-visual junkyards. A razor­-eyed fate, he snips and splices; now rejecting, then finding and filing ... but rarely forgetting. His film works are unique constructs composed of familiar imagery recombined into richly provocative puzzles that rhythmically prod the viewer to attempt reconciliations of ambiguity with the obvious and the comic with the horrific, as irony unites anger and concern. 

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FILM QUARTERLY | Fallout: Some Notes on the Films of Bruce Conner

Given the concern for our present and future ecological welfare, it is timely and brilliant Bruce Conner to have selected the birth of the Atomic Age as the subject of his newest film, Crossroads. From material recently declassified by the Defense Department, Conner has constructed a 36-minute work, editing together 27 different takes of the early atomic explosions at Bikini, all un-altered found footage in its original black and white. The film is without dialogue or descriptive factual detail. It consists simply of the visual record of these first bombs' destructive capability.

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FILM CULTURE | Three Films by Bruce Conner

Recipient of one of the Ford grants, Conner is best known to the art world for his assemblage constructions and, in cinema, for three works: A MOVIE, COSMIC RAY, and REPORT. The latter film, produced with the Ford funds, deals with the Kennedy assassination. All three films, however, are closely related to Conner’s work in assemblage. They draw their inspiration from the world of contemporary realities and issues: not only Kennedy, but in general death, violence, sex, and destruction. Like his objects, Conner’s films constantly weave the current issues with elements of a more nostalgic cast: film-clips from an old western, a snapshot of Jean Harlow, any material which might be found in the trim bin or an old suitcase. Consistent too is Conner’s humor: a combination of grim satire and morbid irony.

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