CROSSROADS and THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE
We publish a note by archivist, restorationist and filmmaker Ross Lipman about his current project, a “performance-film-essay” on Bruce Conner’s CROSSROADS (1976) premiering on January 29th and 30th at IFFR — International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Besides NOTFILM (2015), his critically acclaimed kino-essay on Samuel Beckett’s FILM production, Reading Bloom is very honoured to collaborate with Ross Lipman on the promotion of this extraordinary artwork.
Happy New Year?
It’s amidst dark and troubling times that I find myself proud to announce the Rotterdam International Film Festival will be hosting the unveiling of my new “performance essay,” THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE — as well as screening the acclaimed 4K digital restoration of Bruce Conner’s CROSSROADS.
For those of you who aren’t already familiar with CROSSROADS, it’s Conner’s masterwork, and arguably the most provocative artwork on the nuclear era extant.
Crossroads (1976), the most controversial film by avant-garde icon Bruce Conner, consists solely of images of atomic…iffr.com
THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE integrates live narration with an array of movie and audio clips, still photographs, and rare archival documents. It tells the riveting story of CROSSROADS’ unique production, while simultaneously deconstructing the massive cultural spectacle of the original Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests themselves — the single most recorded event in human history. Along the way it chronicles the extraordinary collaboration of Conner with composers Terry Riley and Patrick Gleeson, including new interviews with both composers. It ultimately looks at the Atomic Era as just one incarnation of the human race’s ongoing mad journey to destruction, a journey that apparently continues through the present moment. Let’s hope we’re wrong about that.
This piece grew out of my work with UCLA Film & Television Archive and Michelle Silva of the Conner Family Trust in restoring CROSSROADS. It also comes amidst the ongoing world tour of IT’S ALL TRUE, the extraordinary Conner career retrospective that’s currently winding up its stay at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, en route to the Reina Sofia in Madrid.
The exhibitions of IT’S ALL TRUE were honored to be named the best cinematic artworks of 2016 by both Amy Taubin and J. Hoberman in Artforum — and I should add for the historical record that THREE SCREEN RAY, which Mr. Hoberman nicely singles out, was in many ways “co-authored” by Michelle Silva, which is not widely known.
THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE will be available for booking, so hopefully it’ll come to a city near you!