Beautiful Things

Director Giorgio Ferrero, Federico Biasin
Italy / 95 min. / 2017 / English, German, Tagalog, Italian

An allegory of consumerism and loneliness, embodied in four workers at mammoth industrial facilities. Silence, music and musings intertwine in a hypnotic audio-visual dance.

An idea as unique as its cinematographic expression is impressive. Packaged as a documental but brimming with symbolism, this experimental film that came out of the Biennale school, explores the manufacturing process behind the consumer goods that fill our homes. The camera moves, slowly and ceremoniously through imposing industrial spaces, underlining the extreme loneliness of four men: a worker at a Texas oil well, a Filipino sailor aboard a freighter, the Italian head of an industrial test chamber (absolute silence) and the operator of a waste incinerator in Switzerland.

The meticulous sound design (silence, mechanical bustle and atmospheric electronica) envelopes the thoughts of individuals crushed by the scale of their environment. Just like in the movie Dead Slow Ahead, the human being seems a mere mechanism at the service of a great machine. Beautiful Things evokes the visual metaphors of Mathew Barney's epic Cremaster cycle, but also echoes Humphrey Jennings, and the way Robert J. Flaherty documented the man-nature conflict as early as the 1920s, General Post Office films about Scottish miners or railroads in the ‘30s and the poetic soul of Pare Lorentz’ works in the Great Depression. An original approach, in short, to issues like consumerism and solitude in which stories are translated into music and everything seems designed to induce a state of trance.


Entradas BCN


Showing format

Mostra del Cinema di Venezia - Best Italian Film ARCA Jury ; CPH:DOX – winner NEXT: WAVE Award

in festivals
World premiere: Mostra del Cinema di Venezia; International Premiere: CPH:DOX, North American premiere: Open Roads Lincoln Center


Federico Biasin

Film company

Film distributor

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