Bruce Conner

Mea Culpa by BRUCE CONER, 1981, 16mm film
Music : My life in the bush of ghosts by DAVID BYRNE / BRIAN ENO
Courtesy the Conner Family Trust

BRUCE CONNER‘ legendary avant-garde films are well known for their pioneering use of found footage: mixing old newsreels, training, educational, and science films, cartoons, 16-mm condensed versions of Hollywood westerns and other kinds of B movies that were sold for home entertainment, he transformed and rearranged these images, pixelating some, lingering over others in slow motion with new music, creating dark and sometimes hilarious moods and visual commentaries.

BRUCE didn’t have a camera but he wanted to make films. And he didn’t have any money. So he bought some films at the photography store, sort of home movies, and (filmmaker) LARRY JORDAN showed him how to splice film. He borrowed a splicer from LARRY and he just made a film, which he called ‘A Movie.’ – JEAN CONNER about CONNER‘s first film

I‘ve always known that I was outside the main, mercantile stream. I have been placed
in an environment that would have its name changed now and again:  avant-garde film,
experimental film, independent film etc.  I have tried to create film work so that it is
capable of communicating to people outside of a limited dialogue within an esoteric,
avant-garde or a cultish social form.  Jargon I don‘t like. BRUCE CONNER in an
interview with WILLIAM C.WEES
BRUCE CONNER, who died in 2008 at 74, made some two dozen films, several of
his movies include or are entirely edited from material he shot directly from life.
His last film, Easter Morning, is derived from 8-mm Kodachrome footage that he shot
during the ’60s. Easter Morning celebrates CONNER‘s reverence for experimental cinema,
aleatoric sound, and discoveries within the realm of the spirit.

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