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Close Encounters

May 17 (Thursday) 7 pm

An Evening with Wendy Clark

Wendy Clarke has made a career out of creating contexts for other people (particularly disenfranchised individuals such as teens and prison inmates) to access the tools and resources of video and other new forms of communications technology. Grasping the therapeutic potential of television after making her own video diary in the early 1970s, media artist and educator Clarke has spent the past two decades exploring video as a forum for personal expression. First came her legendary Love Tapes, a series begun in the late 1970s in which people spoke extemporaneously on camera about love, videotaping themselves in a special booth. Clarke then spent six years as an artist-in-residence in the California prison system, working with HIV-positive inmates on a series of media collaborations that led to her Remembrance project. The stories in Remembrance, like those from the Love Tapes a decade earlier, range from personal tragedy and deep sadness to humorous attempts at coping. Collectively, the tapes serve as both a forum for contemporary discussion (and healing) and as a historic record of these times. 

Tonight’s program will include One on One: Ken and Louise and The Love Tapes (Volume One).

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Introduced by Yakov Gubanov
June 14 (Thurdsday) 7 pm

Shostakovich Sonata

Directed by Semyon Aranovich and Aleksandr Sokurov
USSR 1986, 35mm, b/w, 80 min. 
Russian with English subtitles

Initially begun in 1981 by filmmaker Semyon Aranovich, Shostakovich Sonata gained Aleksandr Sokurov’s distinctive mark after the noted Russian director was invited to participate in editing the archival footage for the film. His editorial decisions and choice of images created a film with broad historical context, fleshing out the narrow biographical framework Aranovich had originally envisioned. Sokurov’s film is a tragic requiem for an artist whose creative work developed and flourished yet almost inevitably found opposition in state ideology. This biography of Shostakovich is about the triumph of powerful art and the defeat and death of a weak man burdened by his gift.

The Harvard Film Archive is pleased to have Yakov Gubanov introduce his favorite film, Shostakovich Sonata. A student of Shostakovich and a composer in his own right, Yakov is the Harvard Film Archive’s resident pianist/composer of scores for silent cinema screenings.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700