Bruce Conner

film 4 of 4


Film Review by Dean Duncan Feb 9, 2015

Bruce Conner’s Breakaway is basically a really groovy art film. Toni’s (Basil’s) title song isn’t too imperishable, but it’s enhanced by what would become a music video truism. Cool pictures really buck up middling music! The visual concept is kind of Stan Brakhage, from a more distant, less emotionally or relationally committed perspective. In other words, this is subjective seeing, a suggestion of how rhythm and velocity and especially a voyeuristic eroticism can transform a simple event or performance. It’s not just or even the thing itself, but how we experience the thing. Conner’s characteristic flashes and whips and wipes, the fast approaches and dropped frames really work in this respect (in addition to being formally interesting, kinetically pleasing.) If you felt like it you could see the conceit here as pretty cynical. After all, the film’s fragmentation and impatience/elation corresponds to the experience a guy might have if he wondered if and then suspected that the girl on the screen wasn’t wearing any clothes. Suddenly, very interesting! A model might be honourably naked, or, as here, crassly clothed. And then, as it turns out, not even that.

And, or, a really groovy art film.