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January 4, 2014 – February 2, 2014

In this series, co-presented by Yale Union and the Northwest Film Center, thirteen documentaries explore the production and distribution of material and immaterial goods. Some of these films were commissioned by companies representing specific interests, but the majority were made by filmmakers who felt compelled to record and scrutinize an often unseen facet of consumerism. Central to the program is the insight that with the advent of cinema, the world became visible in a whole new way, yet most mainstream films today still take place in a part of life in which we are led to believe that work does not exist, where goods seem almost immaculately conceived. The films of “Production/Distribution” consistently work against this lack of representation and describe the processes, facilities, locations, and durations of how things are made and transported. Special thanks to Robert Snowden and Lucas Quigley, co-curators of the series; thanks also to Hope Svenson. See for detailed program notes.


Directed by Hartmut Bitomsky

An extended essay focused on that smallest thing permeating our everyday lives, DUST uses interviews with a wide range of


Directed by Luc Moullet

Bananas, eggs, and tuna: three basic foodstuffs with three wildly different points of origin. Moullet begins with these on his

In Comparison

Directed by Harun Farocki

Farocki, who boasts a distinguished career as one of Europe’s foremost documentarians and whose films often critique the valences of


Directed by Frederick Wiseman

After spending much of the 1960s and early 1970s examining the complexity of official institutions of American life—the school, the


Directed by James Benning

“Looping, chugging, and barreling by, the trains in Benning’s monumental film map a stunning topography and a history of American

Slow Glass

Directed by John Smith

“A nostalgic glazier shows off his knowledge and expounds his theories. Taking glassmaking processes and history as its central theme,

The Forgotten Space

Directed by Allan Sekula, Noël Burch

Based on Sekula’s “Fish Story,” a large-scale exhibition of photographs and accompanying texts depicting the international seabound shipping trade, THE

The song of Styrene

Directed by Alain Resnais

Written by acclaimed essayist Raymond Queneau, THE SONG OF STYRENE, commissioned by French plastics giant Péchiney, is ostensibly an investigation

The Store

Directed by Frederick Wiseman

In this fly-on-the-wall examination of the surrealism of the everyday, Wiseman points his camera at the flagship luxury department store

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.