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A Movie (1958)

| Short | 1958 (USA)
Clips of atomic explosions, pornography, and B-movies are spliced together to evoke certain emotions.


Bruce Conner
1 win. See more awards »


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Uncredited cast:
Theodore Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)


Clips of atomic explosions, pornography, and B-movies are spliced together to evoke certain emotions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Movie See more »

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1994. See more »


Edited from Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse (1940) See more »


I pini di Roma
Composed by Ottorino Respighi
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User Reviews

Well, Yes, it is!
29 March 2018 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

A Movie is one of those times where, while Im not sure if the editor of this footage Bruce Conner has a point of view or is working out some definite themes or not, this is most appealing for each viewer to interpret it how he or she will. There are some moments of juxtaposition - basically Conner mocking/celebrating the ideal Kuhleshov Effect in action with the girl on the bed with the guys in the sub, leading up to the first A-bomb - that are nothing short of miraculous. But I'm not sure I'm one to say: "no! This is what he intended to say, this and only this!" With cinema, it's usually (when the art is at its greatest) in the eyes and ears of the beholder. Usually, as is the way with cinema though, the male beholder (if there's an underlying point, however, that... Could be all).

The running theme at least at first is action: cowboys and Indians, tanks, motorbikes, Teddy friggin Roosevelt, other military things, and after the Atom Bomb then we have some dog-fight aerial footage. But what is there to make of the book-ends to the film, with the first image of a nearly naked woman (this after we get in what is the one thing I might say Connor is trying to go for like the opening of Bergman's Persona, just deconstructing what he's got in front of him on the Steenbeck) and then it ends with... Oppression and starving African kids and a manager in the ocean(?)

What Connor does here, looking aside from whatever you may or may not read into the flow of images (ie sex appeal vs action, like notice there's no women really featured aside from the sex bombs, that it's the 50s and so matter of fact about annihilation, etc), on a concrete level, is: cinema is about EMOTION and MOVEMENT (or as San Fuller said, it's MOTION-PICTURES, they should MOVE!) and they do that here and then some. This is 11 minutes of movement and violence scored to rousing music and a sense that anything could happen next.

It really plays as just seeing a succession of things that are captivating in the mis eh scene; while Connor didnt direct the footage himself, everything he chooses is monumentally important. What we are made to see, how he leaves the bomb for so long for us, how he cuts so quickly near the end... There are hardly words to describe on just an objective level how it works so well because it taps into a truth that we all know and yet this truth is the kind we arent shown as kids. That nude woman at the start shouldnt shock or surprise me as an adult who has seen naked women over the years, but it does because... Hey, in 1958? Holy moly!

It's one of the top 5 short films ever.

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