Bridges Go Round

Bridges Go Round
Director: Shirley Clarke

USA, experimental, 1958, 7 min

One can watch this film in two ways. One version of it is the feverish running of New York bridges accompanied by the electronic sounds created by Bebe and Louis Barron. The other – Teo Macero’s jazz music, somewhat reminiscent of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, and, again, bridges, bridges, bridges... The director Shirley Clarke, one of the most important figures in North America‘s avantgarde cinema movement, said that the film can only be fully experienced by watching the both versions. “Bridges Go Round” is an experimental film classic, enchanting in its atmosphere and musical notion. This film is one of Shirley Clarke’s most famous works – a captivating record of New York City’s aura.

About the director:

Shirley Clarke (1919–1997) lived and created in New York City, one of the world’s art capitals, which left an indelible stamp on her work. Having dreamt of becoming a dancer since early childhood, she abandoned this ambition when her work did not gain the anticipated success. But even after taking the film camera into her own hands she did not forget the art of dance – her first movies were exactly dance movies and later on her films had a particular sense of rhythm and motion. The filmmaker got actively involved in the avant-garde cinema movement in New York and worked with Maya Deren, Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage. She received an Academy Award in 1963 for her documentary about the famous poet Robert Frost.

Section: Special Screenings: Avantgarde women programme curated by Jonas Mekas

Dir. of Photography: Shirley Clarke

Music: Bebe Barron, Louis Barron, Teo Macero