Bruce Conner R.I.P.

posted: 08 July, 2008
I am really bummed to hear that Bruce Conner has died. I first read about Conner when he was interviewed in the RE/Search Pranks book, a book that has vastly influenced me... and I first saw A Movie in my Experimental Cinema class - the same class where I saw pretty much everything else that I love and revere (see this site's iconography, purloined from Robert Nelson).

The found footage technique of A Movie is nothing special today, where recombinant art is everywhere and YouTube is full of weird amateur slideshows. But there's something very pure about it; it's still wonderfully irreverant and absurd. I smile every time I see it, and I've watched it a lot.

But Conner was more versatile, artistically - his Report is an experimental film approach to dealing with the Kennedy assassination, made up of Zapruder residue and the Dallas police scanner from that day. It uses a very minimal visual style at the critical moments of the audio track, mostly black and white solid screens in a flickering pattern. I haven't seen it for years but I remember being blown away by how powerful it is, and how completely different in tone it is compared to everything else I have seen by Conner.

Cosmic Ray and the Devo fils are also great.... he will be missed.
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