Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I don't even know what to say...

I just got home from the screening of “Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy”, and am completely unsure what to think or where to begin. Through looking at the film’s website for more information on the film’s background, I found a quote from Martin Arnold that changes my entire interpretation of the film: “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.” Arnold demonstrates his ideas in the most literal terms, in the same way teens in the sixties played rock music backwards with the hopes of hearing Satan. In the first scene, when the boy Andy kisses the back of his mom’s head while she’s working at the sink, her voice sounds almost lost a compilation of animal noises, with distinct bird chirping and sheep sounds. The idea of noise is made ridiculous and obnoxious when the girl is shown singing, and each note seems mismatched and a painful transition from the previous one. The compulsive juxtaposition of noise, more than anything else, satirizes the probably cheesy original version by making a joke of romantic songs in general.

Besides the inhuman sounds that come from Arnold’s looping, repetition, and speed manipulation, his editing also emphasizes different emotions within the characters, completely bastardizing the meaning of what is being shown. The most obvious example of this is seen in the first scene, where the repetition that Arnold implements makes an innocent scene seem almost incestuous. In the simple shot of a boy kissing the back of his mom’s head before going out, the kiss is magnified and given a much more dramatic sense of emotion; in slow motion, the mother’s response appears to be full of longing and sexual drive. By speeding up the movement of the boy leaning into his mom, and then playing it forward and backward, the simple kiss becomes almost a repeated thrusting motion, which carries obvious connotations.



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