Back And Forth: Films By Martin Arnold

Short works by the Austrian experimental filmmaker, known for his manipulation of images from Hollywood’s studio period. I’ve seen Piece touchee (1989), which is derived from brief snatches of The Human Jungle (1954); Passage a l’acte (1993), which makes similar use of To Kill a Mockingbird (1963); and Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998), which does extremely creepy things with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The last is the most impressive; its manipulations simultaneously dehumanize the stars and highlight the repressed subtexts of their actions and interactions. I’m not sure what kind of artistic or technical accomplishment these short works represent, but there’s no question that they’re very scary. (JR)

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