Martin Arnold

piece touchee (1989) is a brief exegesis of a woman reading and a man coming to visit her. This footage comes from an unidentified movie from the 1940s, and opens innocently enough with the woman sitting in a chair enjoying her book. There’s no movement at first, but this is deceptive; an almost imperceptible motion starts to happen with her hand moving slightly up and down, a sign of the slight agitation that eventually explodes as something attempts to open the door. Suddenly this homely scene takes on the feel of a horror film, with what may be a monster repeatedly, terrifyingly straining at the door. Arnold builds on this arid atmosphere of entrapment and incipient chaos to the point where a kind of vertigo sets in. In a literally dizzying sequence, Arnold introduces maniacal flash-cuts and repeatedly replays and interrupts a scene in which the camera pans across the woman rising and the man walking; this will have some viewers holding their chairs.

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