Martin Arnold is the guest of honour
of this year's film programme. He is renowned for his inimitable
style of transforming short, seemingly insignificant scenes from
old Hollywood movies into hysterical mechanical ballets.
Arnolds breakthrough film, pièce
touchée, is based on a single 18-second shot from The
Human Jungle (dir. Joseph M. Newman, 1954). Woman sitting in a
chair. Man enters the room. Man and woman kiss. Exit man.
Diligently edited frame-by-frame over
a period of 18 months with a home-made optical printer, the film
is an ecstatically jerky and stuttering close-reading
of a commonplace mainstream movie scene. The entire soundtrack,
too, which sounds like a mixture of looped hip hop beats and vintage
Steve Reich, is collaged original material.
In passage à lacte
Arnold samples To Kill a Mockingbird (dir. Robert
Mulligan, 1962) with the effect of raising quite a few chuckles
in the audience. A nuclear family having breakfast is cruelly
interrupted, as the father just cannot seem to get the jam on
his toast. Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy is one of the
most bizarre musicals ever made. The sad fates of child stars
Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland flow before our eyes as a melancholy
tape that keeps stuttering to-and-fro.
Arnolds films seem to have a straightforward
psycho-physical effect on people: many bring up the inexplicable
erotic atmosphere they sense. In any case, his works are unusually
entertaining experimental films, whose meanings are very ambiguous.
For film scholars Arnolds output has proved a veritable
treasure trove. It has been interpreted abundantly in various
ways - from feminist gender theory all the way to criticism of
American imperialism. MT
pièce touchée (1989),
passage à lacte (1993), and Alone. Life
Wastes Andy Hardy (1998) have won several awards at international
festivals. Martin Arnold will be visiting Helsinki November 9-11.
Read our Interview
with Martin Arnold >>
Saturday 10.11.2001 - Kiasma Theatre
18:00 - Screening of pièce touchée
(1989), passage à lacte (1993), and Alone.
Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998)
Sunday 11.11.2001 - Kiasma Theatre
12:00 - Screening of pièce
touchée (1989), passage à lacte
(1993), and Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998)