The five-minute Breakaway shows Antonia Christina Basilotta (Toni Basil) shimmy, tease, gyrate, and luxuriate in various states of undress. The music, Ed Cobb’s “Breakaway”, the B-side of Basilotta’s first single, is a throaty pop-tune with low-brow mid-‘60s “lib” lyrics (“I’m gonna break away from all the chains that bind, and everyday I’ll wear what I want and do what suits me fine”), a cross between Nancy Sinatra and Martha and the Vandellas. The song lasts two minutes and 30 seconds, after which the entire short, picture and soundtrack, runs backwards to the beginning.
Bruce Conner was born in McPherson, Kansas, in 1933 and studied art at Wichita University, the University of Nebraska, the Brooklyn Art School, and the University of Colorado. Moving to San Francisco in 1957, Conner became involved with the Beatniks. He continues to live and work in San Francisco.
Conner first made a name for himself in the 1950s with assemblages/sculptures of found objects. In the late 1950s, he began making short movies that proved highly influential and established him as one of the seminal figures in the history of independent, avant-garde filmmaking. Conner’s first film, A Movie (1958), a visual collage created from bits of B-movies, newsreels, and other footage, has been listed on the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Connor was also responsible for Crossroads (1976), produced with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, which turned the destructive and sinister atom-bomb test in Bikini Atoll into elegiac visual… read more