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Two Films by Stephen Prina

Special Event Tickets $10
Sunday May 3 at 7pm

The Harvard Film Archive is proud to welcome conceptual artist, musician and Harvard professor Stephen Prina for a special screening of his two films, The Way He Always Wanted It II (US 2008, 35mm, 27 min.) and Vinyl II (US 2000, 16mm, 21 min.) on Sunday May 3 at 7pm. In lieu of an artist’s statement, Prina requested that this email be reproduced.

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 01:18:22 -0500
From: Haden Guest <>
Subject: thank you
To: Stephen Prina <>


I really LOVED The Way He Always Wanted It II and am totally thrilled it will screen at the HFA in May! I was especially drawn to the final moments when the film quite literally is derailed and wanders outside – in search of the snowy Region Centrale? Your film seems a wonderful response to Snow in so many ways, for its mechanical automatism and controlled variations, for its discovery and unraveling of a space – here interior – unveiled in an act akin to peeling an onion, a slicing, spiraling movement that eventually exhausts itself, finds its way to the core. Your film reveals narrative layers within the same space, not unlike Wavelength. Although the music adds something else not in Snow's – a heightened tension between performance, the aleatory and infinite, and the mechanical, the controlled and finite.

The way the camera halts solidly at the door, wanting impatiently to go outside was really important. Especially with the cars rushing past, going somewhere else, the first time we see a strongly different directional movement. In the final shot you beautifully summarize, by the stark contrast, your vision of Goff's architecture and music by pointing towards a different space and soundscape, just outside. And you do so with just the simplest of means.

I also thought that the beautiful tracking shots evoked a vintage turntable, each "track" playing in a (semi)circular movement, with the linear shift/slide acting like the needle arm being lifted and returned to place – or perhaps the next record being dropped. The fact that you shot the film in 35mm added to the aura of mechanical/20th century, versus digital/21st century, technology. The visible cues from the musicians and technicians added a great and necessary intensity to the temporality of each "track."

Thank you, Stephen, for the special thanks which is indeed very special and a great honor that I will not forget.

Congratulations and best wishes,

Special thanks: Andrew Witkin, Barbara Krakow Gallery.

 Listen to this evening's introduction, discussion and Q&A.

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