Water and Power

Screening on Film
Directed by Pat O'Neill.
US, 1989, 16mm, color, 58 min.
Print source: HFA

California-based artist Pat O’Neill is a photographer and sculptor who turned to filmmaking in the 1960s, where his interest in space and imagery took on the kinetic shape of cinematic experimentation. Water and Power is a study of O’Neill’s native Los Angeles, brilliantly transformed through layers of imagery, superimposition, optical printing, and a wry spirit. O’Neill has explained that "Water and Power was made over a period of years, without a script, relying on the chance confluence of places, people and conditions. It turned out to be very much about water, in all of its physical states, and about cyclic motions. . . . Stories and progressions rose up out of the material, the written texts appeared, and the ending became the beginning––several times."

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: U–Z

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California Stars:
Los Angeles on Film