Quality Control


  • Kevin Jerome Everson

  • 2011
    • United States
  • 71 min
  • Black and white
  • PRODUCTION
  • Picture Palace Pictures

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Quality Control represents the careful labour of workers on the production line of a large-scale dry cleaning operation in Pritchard, Alabama.

Anticipating the durational extremes of Park Lanes, Everson’s Quality Control describes life at an Alabama dry-cleaning factory over six takes that each span the totality of a 400-foot film magazine. Unlike a more staunchly formalist examination of bluecollar labor such as Sharon Lockhart’s Lunch Break, however, Everson shoots handheld, never letting the audience forget the presence of a filmmaker actively aware of his surroundings. Within these slabs of real time, Everson finds much to observe and listen to: the ingrained routines of the laborers, the contrapuntal movement of clothing as it carriages across the foreground, the chatter of the employees and the background rhythms of an FM radio, all juxtaposed against the relentless hum of the machinery. The overall impression, strengthened by short montages of silent footage around the factory that interrupt the otherwise rigid structural framework, is not of mechanized drudgery but rather a lively, spirited ecosystem, one where workers make the most of their time while plying skills long ago mastered.

(Harvard Film Archive)

  • Kevin Jerome Everson

Kevin Jerome Everson was born in 1965, Mansfield Ohio. Since the 1980s he has directed numerous short films, and nine feature lengths. Most of these are anchored in the collection or staging of gestures, postures and attitudes of the black American working class.

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