Heh, that's the kiddy.
Mr Curtis has put up some new stuff, putting the BBC's archives to good use. Some interesting comments on the latest piece (made me look up the Quakers if nothing else).
Bitter Lake: 20 days left of iPlayer:
This is a masterpiece of archive research and editing, the use of juxtaposition to create metaphor is outstanding.
Yes the piece is simplistic for the complexity of the subject matter. It mostly ignores Pakistan and Iran, falls prey to bashing Wahhabism as an evil, without fully justifying it via its own history/background beyond Saudi Arabia. But on the whole, for an hour and a half it provides an antidote to popular journalism, delivered with exquisite craft.
What it lacks in narrative authenticity it more than makes up in poetic justice.
there was a very short, very fast-cut, blipvert style trailer for bitter lake on telly last night, (much shorter that the 4mins screenwipe version)
I found it almost as great and perhaps as infomative as the 2 hour version, which was a bit of a slog tbh
no doubt he is great tho: an important, if unfocussed voice, i worry a bit that that the feds are feeding him lsd
Last edited by sufi; 04-02-2015 at 10:20 AM.
i worry a bit that that the feds are feeding him lsd
I can understand that to enjoy two hours of Curtis would require some tolerance. It's style is like an anti-propaganda 'clockwork orange' ludovico info-bomb, influenced heavily from post-moderm documentary work such as Chris Marker's 'Sans Soleil', that i am accustomed too. I wouldn't mind if this trip lasted even longer.
Last edited by ome; 04-02-2015 at 02:53 PM.
There has been a Curtis backlash and I'm inpatient with it. I'm impatient with the philistinism of career leftists.I'm impatient with their need for simple storylines, for heroes and villains, noble sacrifices, noble savages, noble proles and a moral at the end of every story.
Every man and woman a self-apppointed party whip. Stick to the Script. Toe the Party Line. Denounce first ask questions later. There's a Revolution to Foment.
None of us, no matter what level of security clearance we have, know what is going on in the world. Cause and effect is not simple. It's not a mechanical process that can be mapped out in an easy to follow timeline. Chaos lies under the surface. People's motivations are not clearcut and one dimensional. Our motives are murky, even to ourselves. State and non state actors lie, obfuscate, deal in disinformation and misdirection until they tie even themselves in knots. Sorting the truth from fiction is a game of educated guesswork.
Stories are constructed by cherrypicking motes of data from a swirling dust storm, and joining them together. The truth of these stories can only ever be partial at best. Í got too drunk that night becasue my girlfriend said something mean to me and I felt sad' 'Terrorism is caused by Western Imperialism/The words of the Holy Koran'
Adam Curtis is not attempting to enter his own Overarching Explanation in the Grand Prize Draw, he is demonstrating how large the dust storm is, and how many motes of dust are caught up in it, and correspondingly, how many stories there are to be told.
His films say, the explanations you have been fed are too pat. One dimensional. Monocausal. The actor flashing his pearly whites on the red carpet was not the real star of the show. Here are just a few of the other characters and events which gave shape to history.
That approach is not for the literal minded. It is playful and yet it has a serious intent. Philistines like their Art with the ambiguity taken out. They resent Curtis. He is having fun. He is having a laugh and worst of all he is nobodys True Believer. He is an agnostic and he makes films which preach the gospel of Agnosticism. That is why they are useful.
this account has been pretty good value recently, https://twitter.com/curtis_ebooks/st...64643023831040
impossible to tell whether it's tribute, spoof, genuinely ac sub-twitting himself or what. but with his repoire does it even matter?
i went to his presentation as part of the bbc arabic festival.
first of all, he should not have been there.
not because hes not an arabic filmmaker, but because, despite his opening talking about how most brits' view of the middle east is one dimensional and simplistic, his presentation was largely not to do with arab countries, or even libya, really, but about the west, western politics, british citizens' somewhat ignorant view of our own govt's hypocrisies.
all well and good, as these are good things to make us think about, but again, despite saying we reduce the ME to simplistic caricatures, what does his presentation on the west's use, abuse, and manipulation of gaddafi do? make gaddafi into a LOL meme, more or less.
okay, gaddafi is a bit cartoonish, but curtis wasnt really interested in much of libyan history or gaddafi's own politics, faulty though they may be, he was just interested in looking clever, using some cool archive footage (he is far too limited by the available footage in what he has to say, sometimes i wondered if he had anything to say that he couldnt find footage for), and making some good montages set to rihanna songs.
i am simplifying (ho ho) what he did of course, but the end result was that adam curtis, for all his good intentions, and his intelligence, isnt so much a smug propaganda-ist as he said, but a documentary version of an opinion columnist, around the same level as someone like stewart lee, or that guy from peep show maybe.
he made some good points about nationalism, the stories we tell to establish it, and how a figure like gaddafi is used to justify western views of arabic nations and their leaders and people, but it was all really in the service of telling us more about ourselves, than this 'other' that we have constructed over many decades, and how that other may not be entirely what we have been led to think it is.
as he himself said when someone asked him about the modern political situation in libya, 'im no expert, maybe someone in the audience knows?'
Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 30-03-2017 at 10:20 AM.
and also this:
https://art19.com/shows/under-the-sk...0-957ce227f18e (extra interesting in view of this http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=14038 )