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Bruce Conner, Pioneering Experimental Filmmaker, Avatar of San Francisco Beat Movement, Dies at 75

By Tom White

Bruce Conner, the San Francisco-based artist best known for his experimental films such as A Movie, passed away Monday at age 74. During the heyday of the San Francisco Bay Area counter-cultural scene—from the West Coast chapter of the Beat Generation in the 1950s to the Haight-Asbury Summer of Love era to the San Francisco punk rock scene—Connor was a mainstay, venturing into different artistic disciplines, and blending them together. While he probably wouldn’t have categorized himself as a documentary filmmaker, he did utilize documentary and newsreel footage in works such as A Movie (1958), Report (1967) and Crossroads (1977). And in a 2002 interview with Documentary magazine, Ken Burns cited Conner, as well as Maya Deren, Robert Flaherty and John Grierson as early influences. Here’s an obituary from The New York Times.

Image: From Bruce Conner’s A Movie (1958)