TITLE: WORK, 80′
DIRECTOR: Erik van Lieshout
PRODUCER: Kuba Szutkowski, Dragan Bakema, Suzanne Weenink
EDITOR: Core van der Hoeven
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Erik van Lieshout, Kuba Szutkowski
ANIMATION: Dirk van Lieshout, Erik van Lieshout
SOUNDMIX: Jaim Sahuleka
OVERVIEW: It was to be an ‘epic on the artist as worker’. Which WORK undoubtedly is. Above all, however, it is a cheery shambles, featuring a manly search for the essence of the story. A search that leads us into in the basements of The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, among countless cats. As if the title requires any further clarification, it is also stated explicitly in the film itself: WORK ‘is about work, that is very clear.’ But the straightforwardness of this introduction is mirrored by the immense chaos of the execution. WORK is anything but a clear, straightforward argument. Rather, it is a film like a pinball machine: Van Lieshout’s mind and camera run completely free, switching effortlessly from the general to the private, the deep to the banal, from Helmond to St. Petersburg.
As a method of filmmaking, its freedom and nonchalance are enviable – or at least come across that way. ‘Don’t go sitting down and wandering off,’ the artist/cineaste says at the beginning of the film in his wonderful Brabant accent. As if he senses what is to come. Because we are then taken on a journey that meanders and confuses while at the same time (and this makes the film a truly unique experience) also gives insight into his thought and work processes. And so – via an almost miraculously circumlocutory route – the title is in fact very apt.
TILBURG, NETHERLANDS, 2015