“The film that I was supposed to make was to be a positive example of an invention that increased worker productivity at the electricity station called the “Oberspree Transformer Works” (TRO) in Berlin. The positive example, however, was itself an invention and was never actually realized. The film portrays this example of successful so-called innovator activity along the lines of an agitprop brochure about it, created by the district innovator center. The reality of the brochure lauded in the film was in striking contrast to the images in the film of the reality of the factory and the daily work grind. The film was made as if that contrast wasn’t noticed. In other words, the film deliberately ignored what it was actually portraying, thus making it a depiction of what existence was really like in East Germany”—(East) German director Thomas Heise on his film Erfinder 82 (Inventor 82), made under “instruction” by GDR authorities at Babelsberg in 1982. His previous works were banned. The print of Erfinder 82 was destroyed.
“One will have observed that it is diﬃcult, initially, to distinguish the preview of a ‘coming attraction’ from the main ﬁlm for which one is waiting. This may tell us something about the main attractions. Like the previews and like the pop hits, they are advertisements for themselves, bearing the commodity character like a mark of Cain on their foreheads. Every commercial ﬁlm is actually only the preview of that which it promises and will never deliver.”—Adorno, “Transparencies on Film”