A Worker's Diary | Chicago Reader

A Worker's Diary

Risto Jarva's 1967 Finnish film, with its quick flashbacks and numbered sections, shows the young director's awareness of then-current trends in international cinema. But devices that might have become derivative mannerisms are used with care and restraint to present the life of an alienated welder who takes a job in a distant city and whose ensuing separation from his wife becomes a metaphor for individual loss of control. Jarva reinforces the theme of entrapment in the editing: for example, he cuts from the worker walking through a factory corridor to the same man walking outside in a corridorlike space. Often he cuts away from scenes before the action is completed, as if no single human action were autonomous and society were a giant mechanism with a will of its own.

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