Adam Curtis documentaries
December 27, 2016 7:55 AM - Subscribe

Is anyone interested in talking about an Adam Curtis documentary? (In related questions: does anyone know a way for me to watch parts two and three of All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace? I am willing to pay!) I have been working my way through his catalog (which, taken all in a row, is pretty intense) and would be interested in talking about some of his movies. All Watched Over is my strongest contender, if I can find the other parts. But also The Way of All Flesh, or his film about Nick Leeson, or the Century of the Self... I'm flexible!
posted by latkes (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes! Most of his earlier stuff is on the 'Tube. I would absolutely love to do this as I'm firmly of the opinion that even when Curtis is talking utter bollocks it is in fact the finest 100% quality bollocks and it allows me to segue into many related topics, authors, film makers and media personalities etc.
posted by longbaugh at 10:16 AM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

fwiw I've just re-watched Century of the Self and Hypernormalisation and I've got some excellent reading material to recommend alongside both.
posted by longbaugh at 4:01 PM on December 29, 2016

Well, let's give this thread a couple more days but it may just be you and me talking about this stuff. Is there one of his documentaries that is Most Popular - i.e.: most likely to get some additional commentary from other mefites?

I am in the middle of Century of the Self now so seems like a good choice to me.
posted by latkes at 4:18 PM on December 29, 2016

Power of Nightmares is probably his most well-known piece. I think a lot of people might have been turned off by Bitter Lake as whilst it featured his usual narrative-weaving it was significantly more "music + footage" compared to the normal fare.

I'd also recommend throwing in his blog, "The Medium and the Message" as well. There are a few good parodies, interviews and such like available on the 'Tube as well as in printed/online media, a particularly interesting one with Jarvis Cocker (formerly of Britpop band Pulp) on the BBC where he expands on Hypernormalisation and the topics within it.

Metafilter has had a fair bit to say on Curtis in the past, a little more critical than most left-wing sources you might find which I honestly think is beneficial. I'll shut up for now though as there's plenty more to say if we actually get around to having a group watch.
posted by longbaugh at 5:14 PM on December 29, 2016

Also, how fucking chirpy are we, right?
posted by longbaugh at 5:14 PM on December 29, 2016

P.S. All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace is very good and all three parts should be on vimeo and/or daily motion.

Here, here and here.
posted by longbaugh at 6:02 PM on December 29, 2016

I am interested in an Adam Curtis watch.
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:56 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

If we're going to do it I say lets start with chronological order - the following YT playlist starts with some of the more obscure BBC stuff that is available from around 1984 - the list includes the following:

(sorry but my link button appears to be non-functional atm)

Inquiry: The Great British Housing Disaster (1984)
Italians: The Major of Montemilone (1984)
The Road to Terror (1989)
Pandora's Box (1992)
The Living Dead (1995)
Inside Story Special: £830,000,000 - Nick Leeson and The Fall of the House of Barings (1995)
Modern Times: The Way of All Flesh (1997)
The Mayfair Set (1999)
The Century of the Self (2002)
The Power of Nightmares (2004)
The Trap: Whatever Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom (2007)
Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe S1E03 : Oh Dearism (2009)
It Felt Like A Kiss (2009)
Paranoia and Moral Panics (2010)
All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace (2011)
Every Day is Like Sunday (2011)
Charlie Brooker's 2014 Wipe : Oh Dearism II (2014)
Bitter Lake (2015)
Hypernormalisation (2016)

I'd be happy to start from the beginning there - their is a common pattern throughout his work and even whilst the visualisation/musical accompaniment has altered over time I think if we're going to do them we should do them all. Once I get my 'puter behaving as it should I'd be happy to bash together a bunch of links that cover the docu, soundtrack (where applicable), supporting data etc. so that there's some decent content outside of just "watch this". If I don't hear back from anyone in the next couple of days I'll get that knocked out covering the first doc listed above. Hope we can drum up some interest once it begins.
posted by longbaugh at 1:23 AM on January 4, 2017

I should warn you that the guy who put together that list seems to think Sargon of Assad (the YT "personality") is in some way cool. How he squares that with his obvious like of Adam Curtis is beyond me but hey-ho. I'll try and link directly to the videos for each doc rather than drive any traffic to his playlist.
posted by longbaugh at 1:26 AM on January 4, 2017

Having posted a number of movies and books to Fanfare over the years, I don't think there is enough interest to post multiple Adam Curtis documentaries, as much as I'd love to watch and discuss each one, and you've inspired me to keep going with my Curtis-binge!

But I'm excited there is some interest in talking about him here! So if it's OK, I'd like to finish watching All Watched Over By Machines and then post that next week. (If I can find versions online that don't have technical problems - some of the versions I found had issues but I haven't looked at the links you posted yet longbaugh. Will check out this weekend. If I can't find 'good' versions, I'll post Century of the Self). I will also send some messages to Mefites who have posted his docs to the Blue, to see if I can get them interested in chipping into the discussion.
posted by latkes at 8:44 AM on January 4, 2017

Not a problem at all - you have dibs. I'll look out some supporting texts and sites either way :)
posted by longbaugh at 9:36 AM on January 4, 2017

OK, I will post All Watched Over on Monday 1/9. And if you're into posting other documentaries of his too, I will happily participate in any discussions!
posted by latkes at 8:14 AM on January 5, 2017

I look forward to it :)
posted by longbaugh at 12:51 PM on January 5, 2017

OK, it's up. Looking forward to hearing other people's thoughts...
posted by latkes at 8:25 AM on January 9, 2017

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