PAT O'NEILL
WATER AND POWER (1989)

Director: Pat O'Neill
Year: 1989
Time: 55 mins
Music
 George Lockwood - Composition and Sound Design
John Bergamo - Percussion
Greg Johnson - Percussion
Robert Lloyd - Piano
Kurt Festinger - Piano, Flute, Saxophone
Vivian Miller - Alto
Eye of Sound: Pat O'Neill, one of the most interesting filmmakers in America today, offers a dazzling reflection on the conflict between nature and man in Los Angeles, or the desertification of the city's surroundings due to its enormous water consumption. More interestingly, it is also a film in the age-old tradition of city symphonies: a film about LA's foundation myths and the dreams it embodies, about its history and (grim) future, its topography and ethnography. O'Neill uses footage from several classic films to recreate the several layers of meaning emanating from the city, juxtaposing images and fantasies and hardly ever allowing one picture to go untouched. George Lockwood's swarming soundtrack is likewise composed of conflicting languages, an elaborate work of plunderphonics in which snippets of sound stolen from movies collide with electronic soundscapes, contemporary chamber music, improv, and what not. The final result is an immersive experience into which the spectator is irresistibly drawn,  and a brilliant film in which the profusion of signs does not occlude the construction of clear meanings.
 
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