He Wants Her Back


Dir. Stanton Kaye, 16mm Color Sound 01:46:00

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In 1980 he wrote and directed a full-length film for PBS's Visions series called HE WANTS HER BACK. The story concerns an idealistic architect who has to deal with a neurotic girlfriend and the spineless administrator of a new architectural institute who buckles under political and financial pressures, betraying the young master builder.

HE WANTS HER BACK received good notices, although critics and viewers alike probably didn't know that the made-for-TV movie was Kaye's cinema a clef that was both a sequel to BRANDY IN THE WILDERNESS and a savage excoriation of the AFI and George Stevens Jr. A better title might have been HE WANTS PAYBACK, as Kaye's architect alter ego in the story lands a prestigious assignment to build a monument to the American Indian on the Capitol Mall, only to have the project sabotaged by forces beyond his control. The film is no veiled indictment of AFI, but a naked assault on the institute and its head: The actor playing the director of the "American Architectural Institute" is a dead ringer for George Stevens Jr. circa 1970.

[Source: Steven Mikulan, "Stanton Kaye: Father of Reinvention", LA Weekly, 3/6/2008]