Bruce Conner 1933 – 2008


Bruce Conner, found footage film pioneer passed away in his San Franciso home this past Monday. Conner hit the North Beach Beat scene in the early 1950s with his provocative assemblages and sculptures. By the late 1950s he was channeling his creative energies into filmmaking. A MOVIE, his 1958 breakthrough film, opened up the cinematic world to the possibilities of found footage. Its beautiful and haunting juxtaposition of images have guaranteed it a place in the pantheon of avant garde filmmaking. Throughout the 60s and well into the 80s he refined his technique and ideas, in essence creating the grammar of found footage film practice. His influence has been huge on contemporary film, from the avant garde to MTV and commercial endeavors. Filmmakers like Craig Baldwin, whose film MOCK UP ON MU will be screened at NWFF on August 15 and 16, is indebted to Conner’s work.  Baldwin is also hosting workshop at NWFF on August 16, Flix Remix: A Found Footage Workshop – a fitting tribute to one of the greatest filmmakers of the late 20th century.

Thank you for your thoughts about Bruce. We have lost an amazing artist… Bruce was firmly opposed to display of his films on-line, and on his behalf as an attorney I made numerous requests for removal. Now that Bruce has died, all copyrights are now held by Jean Conner (Bruce’s wife), and she has explicitly directed that I request and otherwise take action to have all on-line postings of Bruce Conner movies removed immediately.(Out of respect for Bruce Conner and his survivors I have removed the YouTube link to his film, America Is Waiting – NV)

Other Links

Movie City Indie Reflection on Bruce Conner

Caveh Zahedi’s Blog – an older posting on Conner – with a short clip of Conner speaking.

New York Times Obituary


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