Break Away From All The Chains That Bind
One of the less-frequently remarked upon themes within many of Conner’s films is the spirit’s attempt to transcend the material world. Today seems like a fitting day to look at two of Conner’s films that emphasize this element, one in a pop mode and the other poetic. Both are about as perfect of films as you could ever hope to find.
Breakaway stars Toni Basil on the screen and on the soundtrack. Hopefully this film is what history will remember her for.
The tremendously undervalued Take the 5:10 to Dreamland (1976), one of Conner’s greatest achievements, is a much more meditative affair and the dissolve between the feather and the rocket is one of the most rapturous cuts in the cinema. (Although computer screens may not lend themselves to conveying the ecstatic moment in general. Both Breakaway and Dreamland should really be seen as projected light on a movie screen for them to be experienced fully.)
– Chris Stults, Wexner Center Film/Video Assistant Curator