Dirk’s Five – Factories

End of the day, factory whistle cries,
Men walk through these gates with death in their eyes.
And you just better believe, boy,
somebody’s gonna get hurt tonight,
It’s the working, the working, just the working life.

Bruce Springsteen, The Factory

I’ve just completed Naomi Klien‘s seminal, anti-Globalisation book NO LOGO (2000). It is part analysis, part commentary, part call to arms against the agents of late-Capitalism. The most cogent and compelling section of the book is about how brands have dislocated themselves from production to such an extent that they are detached from any sense of social responsibility while making huge profits from exploiting cheap labour abroad.

The book is perhaps a little dated now (the internet has only a passing mention, for example) but I urge Dirk Malcolm followers to read it and find inspiration to resist. This list is dedicated to Klein. More power to your elbow.

“Cameras are forbidden in the factories …” complained Jean-Luc Godard, he said that film makers were excluded from inside these places of production by overly protective corporations.

That’s what I call a Dirk challenge!!

FAC 51

1) MADE IN DAGENHAM (2010) A dewy-eyed, nostalgic dramatisation of the 1968 Ford sewing machinist strike at Ford’s Dagenham plant. Demonstrates people power and how politicians can stand up to corporate bullying if they have the balls of Barbara Castle.

2) SATURDAY NIGHT SUNDAY MORNING (1960) Knocking out bloody widgets at a bloody bicycle bloody factory bloody begins this bloody brilliant bloody film.

3) TOUT VA BIEN (1972) Jane Fonda is a reporter who gets embroiled in a strike in a sausage factory. The factory is a REAR WINDOW like cross section that the camera dollys room to room. Talking of dolly shots, check out this check out:

4) DANCER IN THE DARK (2000) Bjork meets Rodgers and Hammerstein while day dreaming on a production line.


5) WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971) and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (2005) Whether its Johnny Depp‘s version – Prof Brian Cox channelling Michael Jackson – or Gene Wilder – strange fella who hangs around in the park – Willy Wonka is one of the most dubious factory owners in film history. He has a work-force of exploited immigrants and a poor health and safety record when it comes to children.

Separated  at birth:

Willy Wonka

Professor Brian Cox

Things can only get better?

4 responses to “Dirk’s Five – Factories

  1. Talking of industrial giants maybe one day they’ll make a film of this:


    A film that springs to mind is Paul Schrader’s ‘Blue Collar’, kind of a 70s retelling of ‘Of The Waterfront’. With its depiction of corrupt unions, their loan shark operations and mafia connections it sends a very different message to ‘Made In Dagenham’. This is why Thatcherism had to happen.

    I’m just adding balance…

  2. You missed out the classic ‘Carry On At Your Convenience’! WC Boggs would be most unhappy that his factory was missed out!

  3. “Imagine a million billion trillion bubbles in this Milky Way” – W Wonka

    Alex – good call – Honorable mention to I’M ALL RIGHT JACK too which the Carry On film was parodying.

    Andy – have fun with Dirk’s emmissery this weekend. Thanks for providing Thatcherite balance. *switches the spam filter back on*

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