Friday, March 27, 2009

DVD of the Week: "Our Daily Bread" (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2005)

by James Hansen

A big apology to everyone for the long delay in posts. I feel like I’m having to say this all the time these days, but I was out of town all last week and hadn’t manage the site particularly well for the week. And, in the meantime, I missed writing a couple reviews I should have written and whatnot. But, onward we trudge! Back up and running at full speed henceforth.

This will start with our DVD pick of the week Nikolaus Geyhrhalter’s 2005 documentary Our Daily Bread. While I anxiously await the arrival of his new film 7915 KM, I have been thinking about Our Daily Bread – a clinically obsessive look at the step by step process of the food industry. The sharp photography collides with the still camera, as Our Daily Bread patiently observes a dedicated, yet oftentimes disturbing process.

But more than being a doc to scare us all off of meat (although, admittedly, I was a vegetarian when I saw it) Geyrhalter’s craft is more what interests me now. Without succumbing to the handheld personal process behind most 21st century documentaries (not that those are all bad), Geyrhalter seems at once classically tuned and radically challenging. Along with Hukkle, Gyorgy Palfi’s amusing 2002 film which would be a fun sort-of companion piece, Our Daily Bread wants the audience to think and feel for itself. Perhaps that is why I have heard many varying reactions to both of the films. More than the content within the film, Our Daily Bread requires a disciplined discourse as part of its process. Although some may disagree, it is a factor that any active audience member should appreciate and, perhaps, adore.


Brandon Colvin said...

I wanted to see this film long ago and had honestly forget about its existence until this post. Thanks for the reminder, James. I'm gonna queue it up.

James Hansen said...

Glad to bring it back up! Its really pretty stunning. I'll consider it my public service of the week for reminding someone of it.

Have you seen Hukkle? You should get that one too. Its a little silly, but quite enjoyable as well.

I just got word that his new film that I mentioned is going to be at Migrating Forms (formerly New York Underground FF) in NYC, so any NYC people, put it in your calendars and join me at Migrating Forms!