The Nothing Factory (Dir. by Pedro Pinho)
Date: May 9, 2018
Location: Downtown Independent
Address: 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Los Angeles premiere!
Voted the #1 Undistributed Film of 2017 by Film Comment!
One night, a group of workers realizes that their administration has organized the stealing of machines from their factory. They soon understand that this is the first signal of a massive layoff.
Most of them refuse to cooperate during the individual negotiations and they start to occupy their workplace. So when the administration vanishes to their great surprise, they’re left with a half-empty factory…
As the world around them collapses, new desires start to emerge.
The debut narrative feature by Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Pinho boldly mixes neo-realism, observational nonfiction, and even a musical number, into one of recent cinema's most memorable hybrids. Official Selection: Cannes (Directors' Fortnight), TIFF (Wavelengths), New Directors/New Films 2018. Co-presented by MUBI!
A long, detailed report on the dynamics and tactics involved in the worker response to the impending liquidation of an elevator factory outside of Lisbon, Pinho’s film is remarkable for the breadth of its attention.
Phil Coldiron, Cinema Scope
Pinho touches on everything from political polemics reminiscent of Godard's Dziga Vertov period to Jacques Demy-like industrial dance routines in his three-hour radical labor film set in austerity-hobbled Portugal.
James Quandt, Artforum
An energetic ensemble piece... The Nothing Factory echoes certain 60s-70s French screen examinations of labour issues (Godard’s Tout va bien being the most celebrated) but it’s very much its own thing, intelligent and inventive.
Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
The scope of the canvas is bold indeed, at once myopic in its resolute attention to these few people in this one particular and small-scale crisis, and expansive in its direct acknowledgement of this story and its participants as a by no means rare example of the pernicious, corrosive effect of capitalism’s endless late stage on individual human beings.
Daniel Kasman, MUBI Notebook
The Nothing Factory is a serious look at the role of work today, in particular for those sifting through the wreckage of capitalism. The presence of a shadowy character on the fringes—a kind of labor theorist or crisis-chasing agitator—allows for some pointed Marxist musings, and the three-hour running time contains manifold surprises and pleasures, notably a few bursts of self-reflexive song-and-dance and the loveliest of nods to Straub-Huillet’s Sicilia!. "
Dennis Lim, Film Comment