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.
The Invisible Ghost is, admittedly, a strange little film. Shot in 1941, directed by John Lewis and starring Bela Lugosi, it focusses on a good man who is plagued by homicidal urges. He acts on these urges again and again after visitations from his supposedly dead wife. The film is made stranger by the interventions of Martin Arnold.
Over 60 minutes Arnold systematically erases characters and dialogue from the film. And he does it with impeccable technique. As with much of Arnold’s body of work, the focus of human interaction and the creation of meaning is deconstructed. Characters are rendered mute, mouths digitally closed, gestures heightened and perversely significant. The meandering camera searches the vacant domestic rooms of a large house, seeking character, plot, dialogue…and finding only uncanny absence. Music swells in a climactic build-up only to plunge into limiting bathos. Gutted finally of all drama and humanity the film fades to black, leaving us with what Arnold has referred to as a symbolic ‘extraction of the soul’.
Tuesday December 15, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Free Admission , Cash Bar
Theatre – 3rd Floor, Anvil Centre
777 Columbia St , New Westminster
New Media Gallery Open until 8:30pm
Pay parking located beneath Anvil Centre (off 8th)
Skytrain: New Westminster (Across from Anvil)