Glazier Blues

Steklarski blues

Sklářské blues

Photography: Žiga Koritnik
Editing: Harry Rag, Matjaž Jankovič
Music: Uwe Jahnke
Synopsis

Somewhere in the gap between the past and the future is where workers of the glass-manufactory in the Slovenian town of Hrastnik work. German director Harry Rag has made a movie about human movements surrounded by noise, steam and hypnotic rhythms of machines that never stop.

He tries to simplify things as much as possible, letting them dissolve in their own motion so that he can convert them into basic shapes. Machines and objects in the factory become parts of a mechanical ballet (still too human compared to that of Leger), where profiles and projections of the glass objects - the whole glass-manufactory seen from different perspectives starting with the opening sequence filmed in the factory yard and ending with the quick editing composition towards the end - bears traces of people, their work, infinite variability and the dynamics of human efforts.

The intensity of the movie is a result of the contrast between puffing machines (automatized production, the large imaginary machine of the world) and human beings, between people and objects, their lines and shapes, curves and dimensions. Workers in action add softness to the mechanics of the film: they deflect it with their presence towards the standards of neutral operation, but at the same time the genre scenes of the work and the rest afterwards, the short cigarette breaks, bring humor to the film, and gentle confluence of vitality and irony. Irony can also be seen in the return to the machine as a symbol of modern times.

It is a return free of admiration, slightly bitter after the experience of the century of reason, with a distance, where the exaltation over the symbol of liberation of man is completely gone and what is left is only sentiment for the decorative function of the machine, for suggestive elasticity, which can fill the space with monotonous motion.

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Festival edition: 2002
Sections: Between the Seas

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