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R. Bruce Elder


B: in Hamilton, Ontario

R.Bruce Elder is an internationally renowned avant-garde film maker, scholar, and writer. He studied philosophy at McMaster University and received his Masters at the University of Toronto. He is a graduate of the Media Arts program at Ryerson. He also studied dance, music composition, semiotics, West African, Ohanian and Egyptian drumming, computer programming and mathematics. Nearly all the films that he produced in the first twenty years of his artistic career comprise the longest film cycle ever made running some 42 hours (2067 minutes) in duration and titled The Book of All the Dead. The entire work was screened at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, and at Toronto’s Images Festival. His films have been exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Millennium Film Workshop, Berlin’s Klno Arsenal, Paris’ Centre Georges Pompidou, the San Francisco Cinematheque, Los Angeles’ Film Forum, Stadfllmmuseum Munchen, and Hamburg’s Klno Metropolis. He has had retrospectives at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, La Cinematheque Quebecoise in Montreal. He has won several awards including the Gemini award and the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for the best experimental film. His 1985 film Lamentations: A Monument to the Dead World was released in two parts: The Dream of the Last Historian, and, The Sublime Calculation. His 1988 work, Love is the Art of Time is made up of three films, Part 1:The Fugitive Gods, running 220 minutes; The Lighted Clearing, running 220 minutes and The Body and the World, which runs 240 minutes. Elder received a 2007 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. The jury described him as “highly innovative,” “influential” and “acutely intelligent,” noting the enormous span of his practice and the demanding nature of his films.

Films below marked with an asterisk (*) after their release dates are those films that were compiled into The Book of All the Dead.

Also see: R. Bruce Elder: In the Realm of Mystery and Wonder.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Breath/Light/Birth (1975)*

She Is Away (1976)*

Permutations and Combinations (1976)*

Barbara is a Vision of Loveliness (1976)*

Unremitting Tendemess (1977)

Look! We Have Come Through (1978)*

The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1979)*

Trace, 1980*
Sweet Love Remembered (1980)*

1857: (Fool’s Gold) (1981)*
Illuminated Texts (1982)*

Lamentations: A Monument to the Dead World (1985)*
Consolations (Love Is an Art of Time) (1988)*

Flesh Angels (1990)*
Newton and Me (1990)*
Azure Serene (1992)*
Burying the Dead: Into the Light (1993)*
Exultations: In Light of the Great Giving 90 min. (1993)*
Et Resurrectus Est (1994)*
The Book of All the Dead (1994)
A Man Whose Life Was Full of Woe Has Been Surprised by Joy (1997)

Crack, Brutal Grief (2000)
Eros And Wonder (2003)
Infunde Lumen Cordibus (2004)
The Young Prince (2007)