by Harun Farocki. It is about life in an architecture studio directed by two people and follows the evolution of several projects at different levels of preparation.
Category Archives: Construction Trades
Starting in 2011 artist, curator, and author Antje Ehmann and filmmaker, video artist and author Harun Farocki initiated video production workshops in 15 cities around the world in which participants were to engage with the subject of ‘labour’: paid and unpaid, material and immaterial, traditional or new. The videos could not be longer than two minutes and they had to be taken in a single shot. The camera could be static, panning or travelling but cuts were not allowed. This concept references the Brother Lumière’s famous film Workers Leaving the Factory which was filmed in one continuous take from a fixed camera position.
The result of these workshops, which were organised together with local branches of the Goethe-Institut, are 400 films which show people engaged in all kinds of work, each film taking a different stance, literally and figuratively, towards its subject while also recording the diverse mental attitudes and bodily relation people have to their work.
Facing the challenge of filming something that might be essentially repetitive, continuous and boring, the films also foreground the work of the camera operator and his or her aesthetic decisions. In the multitude and diversity the films form a visual compendium and an archive of labour and cinema in the 21st century that is never boring or repetitive but enhances and simultaneously questions our perception and understanding of work.
All the films can be watched on a dedicated website, at random, or sorted by city, colour or type of work. A selection of 90 films was shown as an installation at the House of World Culture in Berlin from 27 February to 6 April 2015 with an accompanying conference. This exhibition also presented the project ‘Workers Leaving the Factory in 15 Cities’ (2011 – 2014), consisting of contemporary remakes of the famous film by the Lumière Brothers which were shot in 15 cities all over the world. Also included in the exhibition was the installation ‘Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades’ (2006), which showed scenes of workers leaving the factory throughout the history of cinema, from the Lumière Brothers (1895) to Lars van Trier’s Dancer in the Dark (2000).
‘Labour in a Single Shot’ is a co-production of the Harun Farocki Filmproduktion with the Goethe-Institut.
Published on Oct 24, 2014
“Our smiles can light up a room. Our work can light up an entire city. We’re the men and women of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.”
Outreach video for women carpenters; 3 minute video designed for use on social media.
The film is about the dangerous life of construction workers in a foreign land far from their homeland, and their social problems.
–Written by Steven Zeltzer
Directed by Jesse Moss
Runtime: 1 hr, 30m
In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck under the lure of the oil boom. However, busloads of newcomers chasing a broken American Dream step into the stark reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep. The town lacks the infrastructure to house the overflow of migrants, even for those who do find gainful employment.
Over at Concordia Lutheran Church, Pastor Jay Reinke is driven to deliver the migrants some dignity. Night after night, he converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, opening the church’s doors to allow the “Overnighters” (as he calls them) to stay for a night, a week or longer. They sleep on the floor, in the pews and in their cars in the church parking lot. Many who take shelter with Reinke are living on society’s fringes and with checkered pasts, and their presence starts affecting the dynamics of the small community. The congregants begin slinging criticism and the City Council threatens to shut the controversial Overnighters program down, forcing the pastor to make a decision which leads to profound consequences that he never imagined.
A modern-day Grapes of Wrath, award-winning documentary The Overnighters engages and dramatizes a set of universal societal and economic themes: the promise and limits of re-invention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the resistance that one small community feels when confronted by a surging river of desperate, job-seeking strangers.
Directed by: Melinda Levin and Michael McPherson
Documentary Short (28 minutes)
This documentary short follows the lives of Ivan, an undocumented worker from Mexico and Arnold, a transitory laborer from New Orleans as they work on the day-laborer circuit during a time of economic recession in the U.S. Their stories highlight the struggles and internal racial tensions in this workforce disengaged from formal labor structures.
Director: Seán Ó Cualáin
Synopsis: New York City, 1932. The country is in the throes of the Great Depression, the previous decade’s boom of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants has led to unprecedented urban expansion, and in the midst of an unseasonably warm autumn, steelworkers risk life and limb building skyscrapers high above the streets of Manhattan. In Men at Lunch, director Seán Ó Cualáin tells the story of Lunch atop a Skyscraper, the iconic photograph taken during the construction of the GE Building that depicts eleven workmen taking their lunch break while casually perched along a steel girder, 850 feet above the ground. For decades, this image has captivated imaginations the world over. But who are these men? And where did they come from?
Distributor contact: John Bione JBione@firstrunfeatures.com
“Men on a Skyscraper” portable sculpture: Sergio Furnari: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-687-5593; http://www.sergiofurnari.com/store.htm