Christopher Nolan’s film “Oppenheimer” has generated a massive wave of renewed interest in the events surrounding the birth of the atomic bomb.
Now, viewers have an opportunity to view not only a seminal documentary about 1940s atomic weapons testing, but also one filmmaker’s view of how that documentary came together.
“Crossroads,” which was produced in 1976 by Bruce Conner, is 36 minutes of extreme slow-motion replays accompanied by an original score by composers Terry Riley and Patrick Gleeson. Its source material is government footage from the 1946 atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, which were dubbed Operation Crossroads.
On July 30 at 7 p.m., the Billy Wilder Theater at UCLA will screen both “Crossroads” and “The Exploding Digital Inevitable,” a live documentary and in-depth look at “Crossroads” by preservationist Ross Lipman.
The free program is being presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of “Archive Treasures,” a showcase of works from the archive’s holdings.
Lipman, who oversaw the restoration of “Crossroads” at the UCLA Film & Television Archive in 2012, explained in a recent interview why he wanted to make his own documentary about “Crossroads,” and why Conner’s footage has fascinated him for nearly 30 years.