2 November 2013

Location: Filmtheater ‘t Hoogt

Programme 4: Magic of Markets

In economics, the metaphor of the “invisible hand” describes the self-regulating behaviour of the marketplace. The recent financial and economic crises have not been the least of factors which have shaken this idea of markets automatically channelling self-interest toward a collective benefit. But the gamble of turning leveraged risk into profit continues. Magic of Markets takes the image of disembodied human hands as a loose narrative thread to discuss the relationship between the stock market and the real world.

Hands, Ralph Steiner & Willard Van Dyke (USA 1934, 4:00 min)
This short film dramatizes the greater economic value of hands put to work by the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal agency that employed millions of people to carry out public works projects. A series of hands in close-up first represents inactivity, then turns to labour and the handling of money.

Nieuwe Gronden, Joris Ivens (Netherlands 1934 | 28:00 min)
Ivens’ legendary film, with music by Hanns Eisler, documents the great effort of draining the zuiderzee. The film’s ending was expected to show the first harvest from newly created land. But in the face of the world economic crisis, the men who had built the dam became unemployed, and the surplus grain was dumped into the sea.

David Harvey: The Crises of Capitalism, RSA Animate (GB 2011 | 11:00 min)
The RSA Animate series was conceived as a way of illustrating and sharing the thought-provoking ideas from the RSA’s public events programme. In The Crises of Capitalism, radical anthropologist David Harvey claims a new social order beyond capitalism.

Fictions And Futures #1 Happiness In The Abstract, Arne Hector & Minze Tummescheit (Germany 2013 | 35:00 min)
In finance, futures are contracts between two parties to buy or sell an asset in the future for a price agreed upon today. The Chicago Board of Trade listed the first-ever standardized futures contract in 1864, based on grain trading. Fictions and Futures looks at the latest developments in the futures market and its role in increasing food prices.

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