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CROSSROADS by Bruce Conner

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CROSSROADS is a legendary short film directed by Bruce Conner in 1976 with original music by Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley. It features 37 minutes of extreme slow-motion replays of the July 25, 1946 “Operation Crossroads”. “Operation Crossroads” was the name of the first two of twenty-three nuclear weapons tests the United States conducted at Bikini Atoll between 1946 and 1958. Both tests involved the detonation of a weapon with a yield equivalent to twenty-three million tons of TNT–the same as the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki. More than seven hundred cameras, and approximately five hundred camera operators surrounded the test site. Nearly half the world’s supply of film was at Bikini for the tests, making these explosions the most thoroughly photographed moment in history.

Image: Bruce Conner, CROSSROADS (1976, 35mm, b&w/sound, 37 min.); © Conner Family Trust, San Francisco