Industrial Films

film 4 of 4


Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 9, 2015

And how! These filmmakers stick to their observational guns with a vengeance. And once again the mode proves itself most adequate to the representation of processes and typicalities. And, if you choose your subject carefully, you can also be assured that a crisis or two will arise. Again, as is generally suggested, the recording and assembling of all of this really convinces you about both the richness and the ambiguity of the world. So much going on. What does it mean? Or what do we do with and about the many simultaneous, contradictory things that it means? (As with the Maysles’ Salesman, it’s hard to believe how much the camera disappears. Hard because the rooms are small and things get silent, and all sorts of private and painful things happen. Do these lads think that this is what the spotlight means, or will require?)

A classic verité objection arises. Some of this footage, some of these interactions could have benefited from a bit of interrogation. More to the point, some of these kids might could have used some advocacy! Agents here, coaches there, doors closed and eyebrows raised all over the place. You can’t be sure, but there’s a sneaking feeling that when they’re not being exploited and manipulated, they’re being neglected. Not showing any actual hockey is a tremendous choice. The more we don’t see, the more the game increases in importance and magnitude. Concluding with the draft is dramatically obvious, and dramatically devastating. By keying on these kids as they key on the game we learn and feel how this is everything to them. At the end though, we essentially pull way back and learn that they’re all just Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The agent tells the parent that being picked in the last round is no problem. “We’ll make a player of him,” he says. Let’s look at the statistics on that. You think?