Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
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
Love evolves and death isn’t worth your worry – life lessons from an 88-year-old
Film and visual culture
A series of animated illusions illustrates how we project depth on to flat surfaces
Building ‘bigger and better’ has pushed cosmology forward. Can it take it any further?
How Hokusai’s Great Wave emerged from Japan’s isolation to become a global icon
Watch the elegant flow of a sheep herd, seen from the sky above Israel
How would a piano sound on Mars? Embark on an interplanetary sonic journey
Emergency first responders meet chaos with dissonant calm in this gripping short
The ancient world
Not a lost kingdom but a parable – how to read Athens in Plato’s story of Atlantis
When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued