Martin Arnold, an experimental filmmaker working in Austria, uses an optical printer to playfully manipulate several micro-moments from an early Andy Hardy film. Arnold slows down, reverses, repeats, loops and recuts images (and their accompanying sound track) from the MGM film to reanimate subversive subtexts in the gestures of this corny romance: Andy (Mickey Rooney) engaging in suggestive play with his mother, who seems to be receptive; Judy Garland coming between them; Mother jealously intervening; Father/Judge Hardy smacking Andy around.
It's beautifully subversive and benignly cruel. Arnold's exquisite craftsmanship and penetrating insight makes it hard to ever see these scenes the same way again. Or perhaps he allows us to truly see, as with a psychoanalytical/cinematic X-ray machine, the Oedipal tensions that always lurked beneath the surface of the happy Hardy home.