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Showing posts from March, 2012

"The Efficiency Expert" - a film review

An efficiency expert will almost always play the villain or the fool in any fictional scenario. His rigidity will be mocked, and he will eventually proven to be narrow-minded. The people he sets out to study and correct will teach him some valuable lesson about how there are things that are more important than efficiency. He will throw away his stopwatch at the end, and fall in love. Or something similar.

So it’s no surprise that Mark Joffe’s 1991 film “The Efficiency Expert” sets out to follow this well-traveled path in its nostalgic look at labor, management and “modernization” in 1960s Australia. The theme of the movie can be grasped virtually entirely through the first few scenes, which contrast the old-fashioned, companionable folks of Spotswood, a humble Melbourne suburb, with the dour and by-the-book efficiency expert brought in to “modernize” a failing footwear company. Yet, curiously, Joffe hasn’t bothered to make his workers sympathetic, nor his efficiency expert unreasonabl…