Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work (1976) has proven challenging since its publication because readers and critics have trouble classifying it. The challenge may be related to a common feature of Baldwin criticism, namely a tendency to compare late career works to early ones and to find them lacking: the experimental nature of later works of nonfiction like No Name in the Street (1972), The Devil Finds Work, and The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985) does not square easily with the more conventional essays that made Baldwin famous in his early years. I attempt to reframe The Devil Finds Work not through a comparison to other Baldwin essays, but rather through a comparison to his fiction, specifically the novel Giovanni’s Room. I posit that a greater appreciation for Devil can result from thinking of it as a story, specifically the story of a failed love affair.
9 Work in progress By April 2004, La pelota vasca was still causing aftershocks and reflection in all who had participated in its production. Koldo Zuazua was ‘content, but not proud; actually rather disturbed’  while Medem declared ‘it’s very ironic, but thanks to the Partido Popular I can now pay all my debts’ . Moreover, the debate about the Basque conflict had extended beyond Spain as the film played in international festivals. Meanwhile, a somewhat reclusive Medem saw out his prior commitments by filming television advertisements for an electric
3 The work diptych In a founding gesture that seemed to set a pattern, the first French film, the Lumière brothers’ famous Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon (1895), captured exit from the workplace rather than the toil within it. Associated with free time and with distraction from labour, cinema has generally avoided more than fleeting engagement with work (Comolli, 2004: 338–46). Breaking with this more general pattern, some recent French film has shown sustained interest in the workplace (Cadé, 2000). The period since about 1995 has seen a resurgence
Work and leisure: Spare Time 2 Alberto Cavalcanti, the film’s producer, called Spare Time ‘one of the best films the GPO ever made’ and Dai Vaughan, in his portrait of Stewart McAllister, calls the film ‘a curiously important [film] in the history of British documentary’.1 Jennings rejoined the GPO Film Unit just prior to making Spare Time, which was his first major film and the last major film of the GPO Film Unit before it became the Crown Film Unit late in 1940 under the auspices of the Films Division of the Ministry of Infor mation. This important though
(Leutrat 1990 : 41), while Bergala recognises that Sauve qui peut ‘porte en germe la trilogie à venir’ 3 (Bergala 1999 : 107). Ultimately, then, to the extent that one wishes to impose these rather arbitrary divisions within a body of work, it would perhaps be better to speak of a quartet , rather than a trilogy of films beginning with Sauve qui peut (la vie) , and in this chapter we will demonstrate the validity of
Carne trémula (Live Flesh, 1997 ) was seen as a change in direction for Almodóvar in three ways. First, it is an adaptation from a novel, the eponymous thriller by Ruth Rendell. Second, it was, as José Arroyo pointed out, ‘his “straightest” yet – camp figures less than in his other films and, interestingly, not to Carne trémula’ s disadvantage’ ( 1998 : 51). Finally, the film is often interpreted as an explicitly political work and as a clear break with Almodóvar’s previous non-engagement with Spain’s past and the dictatorship in particular (Allinson, 2001
This book is a history of the British Musicians’ Union (MU) from its origins in 1893 to 2013. It uses the Union as a prism through which to examine changes in musicians’ working lives, the industries they work in and wider British society. It argues that musicians can best be considered as particular sorts of worker and that while the MU’s history has hitherto largely been ignored or marginalised, it has much to teach us about musicians, their working lives and the power dynamics of the music industries.
Men at work 3 The Dustbinmen (1969–70), The Knowledge (1979) and London’s Burning (1986) Each of The Dustbinmen, The Knowledge and London’s Burning has an ensemble format in which we witness relationships between working men – and sometimes women. Dramatic tension is derived from the hierarchy within which the men work. The plot arises in The Dustbinmen and London’s Burning from the nature of the job, which involves interaction with the community at large. While rubbish-collection makes for comedy, plots about firefighting are more generically mixed and tend to
The author reviews Raoul Peck’s 2016 film, I Am Not Your Negro, finding it a remarkable achievement as a documentary that breaks with cinematic conventions and emphasizes the importance of listening as much as looking. The director has singled out Baldwin as the writer whose work spoke most directly to his own identity and experience during his peripatetic childhood in Haiti and Africa, and in I Am Not Your Negro, Peck aims to ensure that Baldwin’s words will have a similar effect on audiences. However, even as it succeeds in reanimating Baldwin’s voice for a new political era, I Am Not Your Negro inadvertently exposes the difficulty of fully capturing or honoring the writer’s complex legacy. As scholars have long noted, interest in Baldwin’s life and work tends to divide along racial and sexual lines, and Peck’s documentary is no exception. The filmmaker privileges Baldwin’s blackness over his queerness by overlooking the parts of The Devil Finds Work and No Name in the Street in which the writer’s queerness figures prominently.