RAINING STONES (Ken Loach, 1993)

When you’re a worker, it rains stones seven days a week. Set in North England, Ken Loach’s persuasive tragicomic Raining Stones, from Jim Allen’s original script, opens with a wide-angle shot of a gorgeous misty country landscape at dawn—a moment of quiet and serenity, which the second shot explodes. Two men are scrambling to catch […]

INDUSTRIAL BRITAIN (Robert J. Flaherty, 1931)

Robert J. Flaherty’s visual ironies contradict the propagandistic aims of Industrial Britain, a documentary paean to British labor of various kinds, from “the coal fields of England, Scotland and Wales” to British steel, which “is used to build bridges, dams and power stations across half the world.” The confident, borderline bombastic narrator’s passing mention of […]

THE PREFAB STORY (Věra Chytilová, 1979)

Written by Eva Kacírková and herself, Věra Chytilová brilliantly directed the satirical Panelstory aneb Jak se rodí sídliste—Panelstory, in short. The setting is a vast apartment building complex just outside Prague; the complex is partially occupied, partly still under construction, with all the attendant machine-noise, mud and debris due to the latter. The overflowing, mostly […]