Andy Warhol, Empire, 1964.
'…what is the real relation of a film like Empire to the working day whose duration it adopts? A utopian alternative that shadows work-time only to supplant and overthrow it, an incitement to the wasteful, luxuriant pleasures of the idle spectator; or a temporal mimicry that points rather to the desire to approximate the character of work in its monotony and boredom? Few, after all, would describe sitting through Empire as a pleasure, idle or not. Alienating its spectators and emphasising the absurd, thing-like impassivity of its performers, this cinema might be seen to encode the experience of labour as presented in anti-capitalist critique - though whether such depiction is always straightforwardly critical, whether it does not betray perverse forms of investment, is itself a moot point. Alternatively, this cinema’s very emphasis on non-activity, its embrace of chance occurrence and its unmotivated excesses of duration might be seen to challenge work as calculated, purposeful activity and efficiently deployed time.’
- Jonathan L. Owen, ‘The Migrations of Factory Style’, in Ewa Mazierska, ed., Work in Cinema: Labour and the Human Condition, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, p.230.