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Just shy of three hours in length, featuring sprawling polemical discussions about the collapse of capitalism and including an endearingly shambolic musical sequence, The Nothing Factory should be pretty much unwatchable. But this fearlessly unconventional project, which combines bracing realism with devices expressly designed to take us out of the film, is a curious, compelling oddity.
A film that evokes Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure of a Man, the social engagement and righteous anger of Ken Loach but also Godard at his most militantly iconoclastic, The Nothing Factory will not be for everyone. Director Pedro Pinho goes from heated debates – fluidly filmed, with a shallow focus that flits from face to face – to characters breaking the fourth wall, chatting to their heavy machinery and attempting robotic dancing on the factory floor. I am not convinced that it all harmonises, nor am I convinced that it is even intended to. But like the Arabian Nights trilogy from Pinho’s Portuguese compatriot Miguel Gomes, this is the kind of bold film-making, bristling with risks and ideas, that shakes up cinema from the inside.
Source: The Guardian
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