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The Odd-Job Men
Institute of Contemporary Arts
December 2022
The Odd-Job Men (Sis dies corrents), dir. Neus Ballús, Spain 2021, 85 min., Catalan / Spanish with English subtitles


Neús Ballús’s films have all screened at the ICA with The Odd-Job Men featuring in October 2021 as part of the London Film Festival and we are delighted to be offering a second opportunity to see this joyful, innovative and wryly humorous reflection on workplace politics. 

Ballús’s camera captures the changes afoot at a small plumbing company on the outskirts of Barcelona where Moha is on a week’s trial as Pep prepares for retirement. Only long term employee Valero isn’t convinced that Moha is what the firm needs and so begins a week in which all three men navigate a series of challenges that the job throws at them. The Plague (La plaga, 2013) and Staff Only (2019) announced Ballús as one of Catalonia’s most adventurous and probing filmmakers, and her third feature does not disappoint. It’s a smart, insightful comedy about masculinity and the émigré experience made with humanity and verve. 

Shot in chronological order, the film imaginatively blends documentary and fiction to creative effect, with the trio of real-life plumbers – Mohammed Mellali, Valero Escolar, and Pep Sarrà – offering a striking window into what it means to embrace both difference and change. Mohammed Mellali and Valero Escolar shared the best actor award at last year’s Locarno Film Festival for their wonderful portraits of the two plumbers. This is a film to relish with a touch of surrealism playfully rupturing the film’s surface realism.
 
06:00 pm
Sun, 10 Apr 2022
Cinema 1
£13 Full, £11 Concessions, £5.50 Green/Blue Members

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