Capitalism: Child Labor Screen 5 articles

Capitalism: Child Labor

2006

Capitalism: Child Labor Poster
  • Picture-in-picture window boxes zoom us illusorily closer to the figures and their gestures, the 3D illusions conflicting with and breaking the space around it, the horrors of capitalist urges portrayed as a bottomless chamber of disorder that our brains can't work hard enough to adequately organize and decipher—try as they might.

  • An aptly assaultive piece that marries a din of industrial noise to a twitchy stereograph view of a Victorian-era factory floor where bobbins of thread are manufactured by haunted-looking Dickensian waifs.

  • Capitalism: Child Labor is probably one of Jacobs’ most significant works of the young century, and undoubtedly among his finest films since moving exclusively into digital filmmaking... Jacobs’ uses this most basic 3D material—a single stereoscope card—to generate a 15-minute work that occupies a turf somewhere between melodrama and horror film.

  • Ken Jacobs’s Capitalism: Child Labor shows in repeated succession two frames of a single image in phase2—through the image-phase, a surprisingly effective illusion of receding space caused by a temporal variation, reminding us that cinema is not and never was an art of space, but is and always has been one of time, and perhaps the best way to access and manipulate cinema’s spatial possibilities is to do so through this time.

  • Jacobs—who has made a multitude of films that could’ve fit into the Oberhausen selection—was represented by Capitalism: Child Labor(2006) and Opening the 19th Century: 1896 (1990), both of which demonstrate his extraordinary ability to fuse the most challenging, visually stimulating perceptual experiments with an impassioned political and historical engagement.