Films that Work

Industrial Film and the Productivity of Media

Edited by Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau

Films that Work
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Edited by Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

290 pages | 6-3/10 x 9-1/2 | © 2009
Cloth $85.50 ISBN: 9789089640123 Published October 2009 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

The history of industrial films - an orphan genre of twentieth-century cinema composed of government-produced and industrially sponsored movies that sought to achieve the goals of their sponsors, rather than the creative artists involved - seems to have left no trace in filmic cultural discourse. At its height the industrial film industry employed thousands, produced several trade journals and festival circuits, engaged with giants of twentieth-century industry like Shell and AT & T, and featured the talents of iconic actors and directors such as Buster Keaton, John Grierson and Alain Resnais. This is the first full-length book, anthology, and annotated bibliography to analyze the industrial film and its remarkable history.

Exploring the potential of the industrial film to uncover renewed and unexplored areas of media studies, this remarkable volume brings together renowned scholars such as Rick Prelinger and Thomas Elsaesser in a discussion of the radical potential and new possibilities in considering the history of this unexplored corporate medium.



            Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau




Archives and Archaeologies

The Place of Non-Fiction Film in Contemporary Media

            Thomas Elsaesser


Record, Rhetoric, Rationalization

Industrial Organization and Film

            Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau


Vernacular Archiving

An Interview with Rick Prelinger

            Patrick Vonderau




Early Industrial Moving Pictures in Germany

            Martin Loiperdinger


Layers of Cheese

Generic Overlap in Early Non-Fiction Films on Production Processes

            Frank Kessler and Eef Masson


Images of Efficiency

The Films of Frank B. Gilbreth

            Scott Curtis


“What Hollywood Is to America, the Corporate Film Is to Switzerland”

Remarks on Industrial Film as Utility Film

            Yvonne Zimmermann



Writing the Real vs. the Documentary Real

            Gérard Leblanc


Thermodynamic Kitsch

Computing in German Industrial Film, 1928/1963

            Vinzenz Hediger




Touring as a Cultural Technique

Visitor Films and Autostadt Wolfsburg

            Patrick Vonderau


Corporate Films of Industrial Work

Renault (1916-1939)

            Alain P. Michel


Filming Work of Behalf of the Automobile Firm

The Case of Renault (1950-2002)

            Nicolas Hatzfeld, Gwenaële Rot and Alain P. Michel


Eccentricity, Education and the Evolution of Corporate Speech

Jam Handy and His Organization

            Rick Prelinger


Centron, an Industrial/Educational Film Studio, 1947-1981

A Microhistory

            Faye E. Riley


Films from Beyond the Well

A Historical Overview of Shell Films

            Rudmer Canjels




The Personnel Is Political

Voice and Citizenship in Affirmative-Action Videos in the Bell System, 1970-1984

            Heide Solbrig


Behaviorism, Animation, and Effective Cinema

The McGraw-Hill INDUSTRIAL MANAGEMENT Film Series in the Visual Culture of Management

            Ramón Reichert


Technologies of Organizational Learning

Uses of Industrial Films in Sweden during the 1950s

            Mats Björkin


The Central Film Library of Vocational Education

An Archeology of Industrial Film in France between the Wars

            Valérie Vignaux


“Reality Is There, but It’s Manipulated”

West German Trade Unions and Film after 1945

            Stefan Moitra




Modernism, Industry, Film

A Network of Media in the Bat’a Corporation and the Town of Zlín in the 1930s

            Petr Szczepanik


A Modern Medium for a Modern Message

Norsk Jernverk, 1946-1974, Through the Camera Lens

            Bjørn Sørenssen


Harbor, Architecture, Film

Rotterdam, 1925-1935

            Floris Paalman


Industrial Films

An Analytical Bibliography

            Anna Heymer and Patrick Vonderau


The Desiderata of Business-Film Research

            Ralf Stremmel



Index of Names

Index of Film Titles

Index of Subjects

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