Movie Review: Report


Someone uploaded the film on YouTube in very good quality on November 22, 2013 (the 50th anniversary) and I saw it one week later. It has since then been removed. This is considered one of the hardest films to find on the 1001 list.

It is an avant garde film concerning the assassination of JFK by using found footage. Footage is looped as the motorcade passes by. Black leader and a countdown are repeated several times as interviews of the aftermath are heard. Towards the end, the montage transforms into something more chaotic as flickers of bullfighting, freezers, and other presidential moments flash on the screen.

While the famous Zapruder film captures a moment of history as it happened (depending on who you ask) it doesn’t have artistic value. With Report the event is re-interpreted through the use of editing and montage, something that, when executed well, has artistic value.

Some moments cannot be put into words; the juxtaposition of the abstract images and the concrete audio capture a moment in time where people couldn’t believe what they were seeing and hearing. The world just stopped functioning, like a shattered lightbulb.

So now that my search for this film is over, how do I feel? Honestly, a bit disappointed. Yes, the editing is creative as the connection between the visuals and audio are different. Yes, I felt some kind of emotion. But why disappointment? Just on the entry alone, I hyped this film to more than it was in my mind becuase it was so elusive. This short was worked on for four years before it was released. You would think with that much time and effort invested into a short, as well as the rarity of it, that this was the Holy Grail. I spent many a month looking for it and when I found it, I watched it four times because I knew it would not be there for long. At the very least, I know that one hard part of the quest is done.

After seeing it (only thirteen minutes long), I wondered why exactly this was so hard to find. Previous links to it on YouTube lead to dead ends on account of The Conner Family Trust, the owners of the film made by Bruce Conner. Fair enough, but why must it be so blasted hard to find?

For what it’s worth, you’ll have to do some serious digging online in order to find a somewhat decent print. While I do feel it should be on the 1001 list, a more accessible Bruce Conner film, like A Movie, should do the trick. Then again, I’m not the one who decides what should or shouldn’t be on it.


1001 MYMSBYD selection

UPDATE 5/22/14: Turns out there’s a print on Vimeo. Click here to watch it while you can.


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