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PPG Nuclear War Film Series: Buzz One Four by Matt McCormick

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Power Plant Gallery

Durham, NC 27701

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The Power Plant Gallery concludes our Nuclear War Film Series with a free screening of Buzz One Four, a documentary film by Matt McCormick.


Buzz One Four (2017) is a documentary film that chronicles the ill fated flight of a Cold War B-52 bomber loaded with two thermonuclear bombs that crashed 90 miles from Washington DC. Evidence suggests that the crash, which put the safety of the bombs and the crewmen onboard the plane in great peril, could have easily been prevented had Air Force leadership followed the advice of their own safety officials. The crash has remained classified and details continue to be repressed by the Air Force, but it is a story the filmmaker grew up with because the pilot of the plane was his grandfather.

Buzz One Four investigates the aspects of this crash and other nuclear-weapons accidents and leaves us wondering if the United States was in greater danger of nuking itself than being attacked by the Russians.

“The crash of flight Buzz One Four is a story that I grew up with, but didn't truly comprehend the severity of until I randomly Googled it decades later as an adult," McCormick says. "I had known the harrowing story of my Grandfather's crash, but I had no idea the larger implications surrounding the incident. Nor did I understand just how aggressive, and at times irresponsible, our country's efforts were during the Cold War. The film is half historical documentation and half family portrait- perhaps the most difficult aspect of the film was finding the balance between the personal and the informative aspects of the project.”

About the filmmaker:

Matt McCormick is an award winning filmmaker who blends mediums and defies genre distinctions. His work has screened/exhibited in venues ranging from The Sundance Film Festival to the Museum of Modern Art, and has received positive reviews from The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Art Forum, Rolling Stone Magazine and many others. Matt’s debut feature film Some Days are Better than Others premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival and is distributed by Kino-Lorber. His second feature, The Great Northwest, premiered at the 2012 Rotterdam International Film Festival and is distributed by Fandor. Matt has directed music videos for bands including The Shins, Broken Bells, YACHT and Sleater-Kinney, and commercial work for clients including Intel, Wieden & Kennedy, and Levi’s. He is currently an instructor at Portland State University in the film department.

This screening is completely free.

Click here for more information on the Nuclear War Film Series.

And don't miss "The Way Things Can Happen /an alternate history of nuclear war" by Erin Johnson on view January 2–March 3, n2018 at the Power Plant Gallery.

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Power Plant Gallery

Durham, NC 27701

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