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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

[VIEWING] Our Daily Bread (*** 1/2)

WATCHING PROCESS PLEASES ME LIKE ALMOST NOTHING ELSE: to watch work, as I would when I worked on training films, asking someone to reassemble, then disassemble again, after taking apart a steam turbine engine. Fiction filmmaking doesn’t afford many opportunities to demonstrate work as work; watching paint being painted is not the same as watching it dry; but still, watching a writer write is not the same as what a writer feels while writing and after the task has unfurled. While Richard Linklater’s our daily bread.jpegambitious Fast Food Nation ends with a shot-in-three-days on-the-killing-floor slaughterhouse scene, reminiscent of Georges Franju’s great short documentary, Blood of Beasts, Austrian documentarian Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Our Daily Bread (Unser täglich Brot) is another creature: deeply rooted in landscape and duration, it is hypnotic and magisterial, about moment and passage, about the industrialization of food and the necessity of nurture. Geyrhalter shot and directed, and his eye for the surreal reality of the highest tech of industrial farming monumental and surreal, wordless, a collation of clean, bright images of supernal calm and the most striking cropduster scene since North by Northwest. An experimental non-narrative epic, featuring rushing rivulets of peeping chicks, floating apples, tomatoes sorted by roving, unmanned machines and fish-gut sucking devices of metronomic efficiency, Our Daily Bread is a strange, lovely, and wholly disturbing look at one of the many worlds behind our accepted world. [Our Daily Bread has its American television premiere on Sundance Channel, Friday, May 18 at 12:35AM and 10:35AM, and Sunday, May 20 at 3:35PM. Clips and resources are available here.]

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What about replacing Mr. Spacey with another actor? Mr. Plummer, perhaps.
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~ Publicizing Sir Ridley’s Deadline Dash

“Would I like to see Wormwood in a theater on a big screen? You betcha. I’d be disingenuous to argue otherwise. But we’re all part of, like it or not, an industry, and what Netflix offers is an opportunity to do different kinds of films in different ways. Maybe part of what is being sacrificed is that they no longer go into theaters. If the choice is between not doing it at all and having it not go to theaters, it’s an easy choice to make.”
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