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Category Archives: Service Workers

IN THE AISLES (IN DEN GÄNGEN)

Germany, 2018, 125 min., Director: Thomas Stuber, Screenplay: Clemens Meyer, Thomas Stuber, Cast: Sandra Hüller, Franz Rogowski, Peter Kurth, Distribution: MusicBox Films

After the shy and reclusive Christian loses his job, he finds work at a wholesale market. Bruno from the beverage aisle takes him under his wing and quickly becomes a fatherly friend to him. He shows him the ropes and patiently teaches him how to operate the fork lift. Among the aisles of the store, Christian meets “Sweets”-Marion. He is instantly smitten by her enigmatic charm. The coffee machine becomes their regular meeting point, and the two start getting to know each other. But Marion is married, and Christian’s feelings for her seem to remain unrequited. Christian slowly becomes a member of the wholesale market family, and his days of driving fork lifts and stacking shelves mean much more to him than meets the eye—especially when Marion does not return to work one day.

German Film Guild Award & Ecumenical Jury Award Berlin 2018
German Film Award 2018 (Best Leading Actor)

Thomas Stuber was born in 1981 in Leipzig and completed his degree in Media and Directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2011. With the short film Es geht uns gut he won the Young Talent Award of the Film Industry in Baden-Württemberg in 2006. His first feature film Teenage Angst was selected for the Berlinale/Perspektive Deutsches Kino in 2008 and won the German Young Talent Award at the Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival. In 2011 his short film Of Dogs and Horses was nominated for the First Steps Award. It won the Gold German Short Film Award and received a second prize Student-Oscar in 2012. His feature film A Heavy Heart premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the Silver German Film Award in 2016. His latest film, In the Aisles, premiered in Competition at the Berlinale 2018.

 

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!

U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Spurlock, Screenwriters: Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock, Producers: Keith Calder, Jessica Calder, Spencer Silna, Nicole Barton, Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin) — Muckraking filmmaker Morgan Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry – this time from behind the register – as he opens his own fast food restaurant. U.S. Premiere (Sundance 2018)

 

COMPANY TOWN (2016)

A new documentary about high tech, political hustle, and the future of cities.
Directors: Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman <secrets@igc.org>

“Company Town” Trailer:

“Riveting…This high minded film lets the personal stories it has uncovered speak the truth to us in a way that “disrupts the disrupters…the best kind of story-telling.”
— Steven Hill, Huffington Post

“Company Town” is a shot of political energy — a valentine to the weird and wild hurly-burly of the electoral process at the grassroots level, from where true democracy springs.”
— David Talbot, founder of Salon and bestselling author of “Season of the Witch” and “The Devil’s Chessboard”

“I was thrilled by Company Town’s virtuoso storytelling, its compassion, and the message that democracy can actually win the fight (sometimes!) against our corporate overlords.”   — Josh Kornbluth, Monologuist & Filmmaker

 

Sherpa (2015)

96 min  |  Documentary  |  2 October 2015 (USA)

Director/writer: Jennifer Peedom

A fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 21,000ft as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas. In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit in a spirit of co-operation and brave optimism. Now climbers and Sherpas were trading insults – even blows. What had happened to the happy, smiling Sherpas and their dedication in getting foreigners to the top of the mountain they hold so sacred? Determined to explore what was going on, the filmmakers set out to make a film of the 2014 Everest climbing season, from the Sherpas’ point of view. Instead, they captured a tragedy that would change Everest forever. At 6.45am on 18th April, 2014, a 14 million ton block of ice crashed down onto the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas. It was the worst tragedy in the history of Everest. The disaster provoked a drastic reappraisal about the role of the Sherpas in the Everest industry. SHERPA, tells the story of how, in the face of fierce opposition, the Sherpas united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain they call Chomolungma.

‘Sherpa’ Delves Into a Risky Profession

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/movies/review-sherpa-delves-into-a-risky-profession.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share
The documentary makers, who were at Mount Everest when 16 sherpas died in an ice avalanche in 2014, explore the tensions between these guides and their wealthy clients.

 

The Seaman (2014)

Filmmaker: Ting-Ging YU

Taiwan | 2014 | Fiction | 18 minutes

Acen’s girlfriend, Yuli, is a caregiver, and she always waits for him to come back; Anan misses his home in Indonesia by viewing the sea. One day, he meets Dora. They fall in love with each other, and Anan feels the love of a girl who comes from his homeland.
2015 Brazilian International Labour Film Festival; http://www.bilff.org

 

Labour in a Single Shot

http://www.labour-in-a-single-shot.net

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).

The project is currently on view at the Venice Biennale, where it can be seen until 22 November 2015. Past presentations took place at the Boston Center for the Arts and the Sherman Gallery at Boston University between September and December 2014.

‘Labour in a Single Shot’ is a co-production of the Harun Farocki Filmproduktion with the Goethe-Institut.

www.harunfarocki.de

 

Waydowntown

2000
Comedy
Canada
Director: Gary Burns
Writers: Gary Burns, James Martin, Patrick McLaughlin
87 Minutes

This satirical lens into office work, corporate culture, and urban life involves a wager between co-workers as to who can last the longest without venturing outdoors. With their office building connected to both a well-stocked shopping center and their apartments, this appears a cinch. However, nearly a month into the contest at a retirement party, things go awry when one of the bettors, assigned to follow the CEO, discovers an unsavory secret about him.