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Plunging into a netherworld of machines and humans, Steklarski Blues (2001), also known as Glazier Blues, transforms the noisy, steam-filled work of a glass factory in the town of Hrastnik in Slovenia into something resembling a steampunk-inflected, sci-fi dystopia that belongs to no particular moment in time. In a fog of cigarette smoke and industrial fumes, glass production here is a decidedly unromantic endeavour, with the polished final pieces emerging from a jarring admixture of repetition and brute force performed by people and machines at odds with each other. Still, the Slovenian filmmaker Harry Rag forges rhythmic and gritty visual poetry from the labour, cutting black-and-white factory scenes to pulsing electronic music and source audio to create an utterly captivating and remarkably unique experimental documentary.
For a distinctly different perspective on glass-making, watch the classic short documentary Glas.
Director: Harry Rag
Website: Bela Film
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