Martin Arnold shorts (1989-1998)

All seen on a wonderful DVD called The Cineseizure.

Pièce touchée (1989) – girl is reading, guy walks in the door, they kiss, he crosses behind her, she gets up. But for 15 minutes, painstakingly and obsessively re-enacted, rewound, stalled and repeated. Arnold mirrors the shot about halfway in, and flips it upside-down towards the end. An intriguing start. The main fault with this one is the annoying machine-loop audio.

Passage à l’acte (1993) – looks like a dinner scene from To Kill a Mockingbird. Boy comes running in, tells girl to hurry up, “I’m trying to”, “come on”, they run out but she stops to kiss her dad first. But all one frame at a time, with the obsessive back-forth repetition. The sound from the movie is here, so this is much less annoying than Piece Touchee… a large step towards the Andy Hardy movie, which, even had I not been told before I saw it, would recognize as the masterpiece of this bunch.

Extras: Psycho trailer (just a shower head, no text, clever), Jesus Walking On Screen trailer (“master, give me sight”), another trailer (in a train station), and a relatively serene montage of old clips called Der Osterreichfilm.

Also rewatched Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998) a couple times. I had very little to say about it back in September ’06.

I’ll bet the actors in these films would be horrified by what Martin Arnold does to them, calling attention to every single tiny expression and movement and gesture. Sure is fun/interesting to watch though. IMDB says he did one in 2002 called Deanimated and it sounds like he’s working with some new techniques.

Arnold: “The cinema of Hollywood is a cinema of exclusion, reduction and denial, a cinema of repression. There is always something behind that which is being represented, which was not represented. And it is exactly that that is most interesting to consider.”

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