Found-Footage Films of Bruce Conner

No program of found footage films would be complete without highlighting the films of San Francisco artist Bruce Conner. Our program tonight, which includes Crossroads in a rarely seen 35mm print, is described with "found quotes". "The 'found-footage' film was not invented by Bruce Conner; it only seems to have been."--Michael O'Pray "Bruce Conner in twenty-five words or less: Bruce Conner is the best cereal in America. Tasty and nutritious. He never gets soggy. He's always crisp."--Richard Brautigan "...his satiric exaggerations are also celebrations. His art illuminates and expresses his age. The words that therefore seem most appropriate to describe him are vitality, richness and eloquence. Conner is not a visionary of the future, as we expect many of our great artists to be, but more importantly, one of the present."--Judd Chessler Valse Triste (1979, 5 mins, B&W): "'Valse Triste' was the theme music for a radio serial, 'I Love a Mystery.' I wasn't supposed to stay up past ten o'clock. I would have to sneak out of bed to listen to it and hear it begin with the sound of a train off in the distance. I showed it to my son Robert and he said, 'Oh, it looks like me in that movie.' Of course, I had been thinking it was me."--Bruce Conner. Take the 5:10 to Dreamland (1977, 5.5 mins, Sepia): "The first time I heard the music, I started envisioning some of the same images that I have been running through the Moviscop viewer for years and years." --B.C. Mongoloid (1978, 4 mins, B&W): "Mongoloid he was a mongoloid. And it determined what he could see."--Devo. America Is Waiting (1982, 3.5 mins, B&W): "Well now, you can't blame the people--blame the government. Take it in again! Again! Again! America is waiting for a message of some sort or another."--David Byrne and Brian Eno Crossroads (1976, 36 mins, B&W, 35mm, Print from One Way Films): "The first underwater atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll on July 25th, 1946 was recorded by over five-hundred camera 'eyes' in boats, in planes and on land. The colossal, gravid image of that mushroom cloud was raised as a scepter of American might for all the world to see...and fear. . . With his obsessive persistence, Conner ventured into the labyrinth of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. where much of that generation-old footage had been filed as 'classified.' He was determined to re-choreograph one of our biggest 'performances' into an artifact for re-appraisal."--Anthony Reveaux

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