Thursday, February 22, 2001

Crack, Brutal Grief by R. Bruce Elder

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

R. Bruce Elder has been one of Canada’s preeminent avant-garde cinema figures for three decades, producing several monumental films (highlighted by the forty-hour epic The Book of All the Dead) and numerous books and essays. His new, 130-minute Crack, Brutal Grief was motivated by a friend’s gruesome suicide, leading Elder to immerse himself in the unending sea of images depicting brutality readily available on the Internet. “Increasingly angered by the Web’s banalization of suffering, I decided to fashion a compilation film, using only material from the Web that would return to the images I found there the full dignity of their horror.”(R. Bruce Elder) “Although the context of this carefully edited and stylized film renders these images somewhat abstract, the impact is still intensely disturbing… Can we reasonably talk about the defilement and desecration of bodies if we don’t acknowledge their sacredness or, at least, their dignity?”(Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail) (Anker)