The following two films were influences on Petzold’s work. A direct inspiration for the humiliating job interviews seen in The Sex Thief, Harun Farocki’s The Interview is a darkly funny documentary on job application training courses for dropouts, recovered addicts, mid-level managers, and the long-term unemployed. In Nothing Ventured, which inspired the corporate world of Yella, Farocki trains his incisive gaze on the world of venture capital, capturing entrepreneurs and consultants as they engage in ritualistic performances of presentation and negotiation.
The Interview / Die Bewerbung Harun Farocki, Germany, 1997, 59m German with English subtitles Harun Farocki’s darkly funny documentary investigates job application training courses for dropouts, recovered addicts, mid-level managers, and the long-term unemployed. Shot through with the director’s distinctive analytical rigor and keen irony—and scored with Neil Young’s blistering guitar soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man—Farocki’s film mounts a bleak exposé into the corrosive effects of management culture and self-branding, in which hopeful job applicants slowly learn that their identities are just so many commodities to be packaged and sold. The Interview was a source text for the humiliating job interviews seen in Petzold’s The Sex Thief.
Nothing Ventured / Nicht ohne Risiko Harun Farocki, Germany, 2004, 58m German with English subtitles In Nothing Ventured, Harun Farocki trains his incisive gaze on the world of venture capital. A source of inspiration for the corporate world of Petzold’s Yella, Farocki’s deadpan observational documentary follows, over two days, the tense rituals of presentation and negotiation of entrepreneurs and bankers as they speculate on the futures of arcane products and business ventures. What emerges is a microcosm of global financialization and corporate business culture played out as a series of masculine performances, of offers and counter-proposals, and of power struggles enacted behind a veneer of professionalism and acumen.