‘How many seconds from midnight are we?’ Restorationist filmmaker Ross Lipman on the continued relevance of nuclear documentary ‘Crossroads’

Crossroads by Bruce Conner_Courtesy Conner Family Trust




By Isabelle Hore-Thorburn

In 1976, the renowned filmmaker and prankster Bruce Conner released “Crossroads,” a short documentary on the 1946 underwater nuclear weapon test at Bikini Atoll. Conner’s treatment of the original US government footage has had a significant influence on the so-called “found footage film.”

We interviewed American archivist, restorationist and filmmaker Ross Lipman, who has worked on two restorations of the film, about the continued significance of the piece. According to Lipman, the film’s continued relevance reflects “this crazy desire to obliterate ourselves and then also to record ourselves while we’re obliterating ourselves.”

Ross Lipman performed his live performance essay “The Exploding Digital Inevitable” alongside the restored digital version of “Crossroads” at DokuArts. The film festival runs until October 21.  



By the way – If you love our content, please consider donating to KCRW Berlin. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by supporters like you. Your donation supports our programming and events, feeding a flourishing English language community with local news, information and ideas.