At first glance, A New Product doesn’t seem especially compelling: in a bland corporate boardroom, executives and consultants talk about optimizing employees’ workspace in order to improve productivity. Boring? Think again. Harun Farocki, the master essayist and editor, transforms a mundane situation into theatre of the absurd, blessed with acerbic wit and a sharp critical sense. By filming what appears to be the dullest possible thing, he has created a subtle report from a world whose violent machinery shines through from under a veneer of decorum. Above all, the film lets us appropriate images of an implacable system. Black comedy at its finest.
Dir. Harun Farocki, 2012, 36 mins., German with English subtitles.