Cosmic Ray

USA 1961, 16mm, b&w, sound, 4:00 min

realized by:
Bruce Conner

politics, based on music, sexuality/erotic

Ray Charles

available copies:
Canyon Cinema Inc.:
16mm, 24fps, sound optical track
available for rent

synopsis: Canyon Cinema catalog 1992
"COSMIC RAY seems like a reckless collage of fast moving parts:
comic strips, dancing girls, flashing lights. It is the dancing
girl -- hardly dressed, stripping or nude -- which provides the
leitmotiv for the film. Again and again she appears -- sandwiched
between soldiers, guns, and even death in the form of a skull
positioned between her legs. And if the statement equates sex
with destruction, the cataclysm is a brilliant one, like an
exploding firecracker, and one which ends the world with a cosmic
bang. Of course, the title also refers to musician Ray Charles
whose art Conner visually transcribes onto film as a potent
reality, tough and penetrating in its ability to affect some
pretty basic animal instincts. But if such is the content of the
film -- that much of our behavior consists of bestiality -- the work
as a whole stands as insight rather than indictment." --Carl
Belz, Film Culture

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