Wednesday, September 4, 2013

9/11/13 Bang


REPORT by Bruce Connors 1963-1967 11 min
Repetitive, found footage of the Kennedy assassination paired with a soundtrack of radio broadcasts of the event and consumerist and other imagery. REPORT "perfectly captures Conner's anger over the commercialization of Kennedy's death" while also examining the media's mythic construction of JFK and Jackie — a hunger for images that "guaranteed that they would be transformed into idols, myths, Gods."

CROSSROADS by Bruce Connors 1976 36 min
The 1945 atomic-bomb explosion at Bikini Atoll becomes a thing of terrible beauty and haunting visual poetry when shown in extreme slow motion, shown from 27 different angles, and accompanied by avant-garde Western classical music composed for electric organ by Terry Riley.

THE END by Christopher Maclaine 1953 35 min
Composed of six stories of people on the last day of their lives. The fragmented narrative, weary voiceover and jilty editing are framed by an image of a nuclear mushroom cloud – “his conceit is that his characters have reached the end of their personal ropes the day before a nuclear holocaust”.

COSMIC RAY by Bruce Connors 1962 4.5 min
Black-and-white footage of a nude woman with a pearl necklace, cartoons, and newsreel footage of atomic bomb explosions, all set to Ray Charles's "What'd I Say".

MEDITATION ON VIOLENCE by Maya Deren 1948 11 min
Chao-Li Chi's performance obscures the distinction between violence and beauty. It was an attempt to "abstract the principle of ongoing metamorphosis," found in Ritual in Transfigured Time, though Deren felt it was not as successful in the clarity of that idea, brought down by its philosophical weight.[4] Halfway through the film, the sequence is rewound, producing a film loop.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED GOLD by Christopher Maclaine 1957 14 min
A modern-day alchemist whose zombielike neighbors think of him as “madman” while he aspires to become “goldman.” Again Maclaine narrates, likening the quest to create gold to a quest for the “world of light”; the editing is as disjunctive as in The End but arguably has a much more optimistic meaning, bringing to the forefront the Gnostic longing to escape substance and recover light that underlies parts of The End.