Crossroads and The Exploding Digital Inevitable
$12 General Admission
** A Live Essay by Ross Lipman and 4K restoration of Bruce Conner’s Crossroads **
The Exploding Digital Inevitable is a live essay by noted filmmaker/archivist Ross Lipman. Integrating 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 tests themselves – the single most recorded event in human history. Along the way it chronicles the extraordinary collaboration of Conner with Terry Riley and Patrick Gleeson, including original interviews with both composers. It ultimately looks at the Atomic Era as only 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.
In 1976 groundbreaking collagist, sculptor and filmmaker Bruce Conner released his magnum opus, a 36-minute assemblage of US government footage of the iconic Bikini Atoll atomic bomb test. If Conner invented the modern found footage film with A Movie in 1958, he re-invented it with Crossroads. His editing of the film’s brilliant “dual” score – by seminal minimalist composer Terry Riley and synthesizer pioneer Patrick Gleeson – evokes a surreal beauty latent in the devastating images that comprises one of the most profound meditations on the nuclear era extant.
“Ross Lipman’s The Exploding Digital Inevitable is the ideal way to encounter one of the very best films in the history of cinema, Bruce Conner’s Crossroads.” – Erika Balsom, author, Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art
“I found myself reeling in the ‘after-cloud’ of The Exploding Digital Inevitable. Live-cinema can morph and this notion made it resonate on a whole other level. It opened my mind to what cinema can be.” – Karissa Hahn, filmmaker
Photo credit: Bruce Conner, Bombhead, 1989. Courtesy Conner Family Trust