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Work Hard, Play Hard

Carmen Losmann
Allemagne, 2011
Production : HUPE film

Français, Anglais


A film about non-territorial office space, multi-mobile knowledge workers, Blackberries and Miles&More. A road movie discovering the working world of tomorrow. This documentary will take you on a journey through the post-industrial knowledge and services workshops, our supposed future working place. In this new world work will be handled more liberally. Time clocks cease to exist. Attention is not compulsory any more. The resource “human“ comes into focus. The film closely follows the high-tech work force – people who are highly mobile and passionate to make their work their purpose in life. Further episodes resume this topic and lead into the world of modern office architecture and into the world of Human Resource Management.

Tënk's film review

Carmen Losmann opens the doors to a universe that seems familiar thanks to the late Harun Farocki’s work on the modern service sector. But here, in these discussions between the managers responsible for large, global corporations, and their consultants, service providers and underlings, a new age is dawning – the age of the “culture of continuous optimisation” – which also involves continual appraisals, including self-appraisals.  Everything is codified, smoothed over and muted: surfaces, faces, clothes and opinions. The jargon overflows with euphemisms and imported neologisms… the word “Leidensdruck” – psychological strain – appears (barely audibly) in the middle of a sentence. With her aesthetic and formal choices – a distant, strictly observing camera, the CinemaScope format and some disconcerting sound effects – the director exposes the rigidity of the productivist system and the violence inherent in transmitting the ideology of performance that reigns over this best of all worlds.

Jürgen Ellinghaus

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Carmen Losmann

The German filmmaker Carmen Losmann was born in 1978. After three years of study in Cologne and England (Bachelor of Arts Marketing) she joined the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and graduated with a diploma in film. Her debut film, the feature-length documentary WORK HARD - PLAY HARD (2011), deals with the effects of modern human resource management and has been awarded numerous prizes, including the prestigious German Grimme Prize 2014. She received the Gerd Ruge Project Scholarship for the documentary OECONOMIA (2020). Carmen Losmann lives and works in Cologne and Templin.

Other films in the collection: Present Times