Saturday, April 1, 2023

Where to start with Adam Curtis: 'We're all paranoid weirdos'


I've seen all of Adam Curtis' films, most of them multiple times. I find them weirdly relaxing, like I'm having all my prejudices about how shitty and greedy and nasty humans can be are reinforced, and I can just give in to the hopelessness of it all, and not worry too much about it. 

They are also terrifically edited and have truly awesome soundtracks - it kills me with delight when he uses anything from Natural Born Killers -  and I never get sick of the little stories from different cultures that all tie together in some strange, until-now unspoken way. They can also be very, very funny.

The thing is, he has been doing this most excellent shit for more than three decades, and there is a lot ff it. Whenever I recommend his work to friends who I know will dig it, they are overwhelmed by the choices. His most recent films are multiple hours long, and there is a big back listing.

So I usually tell people to start with the Nixon one embedded above, from one of the shows Charlie Brooker used to host before he got all fictional on it. With its sweeping conclusions about news, media and societal paranoia, you're either going to love it or not. And if you do love it, there's so much more out there, because Curtis still has so much more cultural horror to unearth. And stick some NIN over it.

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