I've recommended Adam Curtis's documentaries on here a fewtimes and I'm about to do so again! His recent series All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace was brilliant. The three episodes explore the power of the machine and the computer as a model of the world around us. Sadly they take these off the BBC website very quickly, I hate that the BBC produce so many interesting documentaries and programmes and don't allow people permanent access to them on the web. Luckily plenty of people have uploaded them to YouTube so you can watch them there.
All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace - Episode 1, 2 & 3.
More Adam Curtis! This time an experimental film made for the BBC that is a brilliant collage of archive footage and sound woven together with the connections Curtis makes about how power really works in the world - 'To show that power is exercised not just through politics and diplomacy - but flows through our feelings and emotions, and shapes the way we think of ourselves and the world.' Watch it here.
There was actually a participative theatre type show made of the film in collaboration with theatre group Punchdrunk as well.
I’m attempting to try really hard not to buy pointless things I don’t really need. Unfortunately Topshop like to make this really difficult for me.
So common sense says these shoes are not really a useful nor a practical purchase and I have two pairs already that are incredibly similar that I hardly ever wear. Also they're kind of ugly. And that I should spend my money on more useful things that I actually need like clothes for work or a haircut or you know, food. But I still want them. Luckily thanks to Adam Curtis and his series Century of the Self I am confident in the knowledge that I can now blame my unattractive consumerist tendencies on a man named Edward Bernays rather than my own weak self. Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew is basically entirely responsible for us being the programmed consumerist machines we are. It’s not quite as brilliant as The Trap but it’s still fascinating. Adam Curtis also has a brilliant blog here.
I'm planning on going to and see Howl when it finally gets released in the UK at the end of February. The reviews I've seen seem to be rather mixed. Apparently the poem itself is animated in a trippy yellow submarine style cartoon. I'm going to try and reserve judgement on this until I've actually seen it even though my initial reaction was to recoil in horror at the idea. I'm pretty sure nothing can beat reading the poem for yourself or listening to Ginsberg recite it (which you can do so here). I'm not sure whether a 'trippy' cartoon can do justice to what is arguably one of the greatest poems ever written but I may well be proved wrong! Eric Drooker, the illustrator, was a friend and collaborator of Ginsberg's although he does admit that some parts work better than others in the sequence. There's a possibility that I may like the animation more than the rest of the film as the clips I've seen of James Franco, who is just a bit too teenage heart-throb good looking for the part, as Ginsberg did make me cringe slightly.
**EDIT** - I attempted to watch this last night but only managed to sit through 10 minutes as Wim Wenders is such a pretentious arse that I couldn't cope with any more than that. It starts badly with some kind of dreadful poetic monologue on the nature of identity but the worst bit was possibly when he talked about his first experience of trying on Yohji Yamamoto clothing - he claims that Yohji has somehow woven the memories and experiences of Wender's own childhood into the clothing. Adding to the fact that you couldn't actually hear anything that Yamamoto had to say due to his soft voice and bad quality footage I thought I'd be best off watching something else. So instead I watched this documentary on Captain Beefheart which was narrated by the pleasingly familiar dulcit tones of the late John Peel and didn't make me shout at the TV.
This blog is making me want to shut myself and watch film after film after film. And as I've been underpaid by a whooping £700 that's probably all I'll be able to do because I can't afford to do anything else! At least it's Friday I guess!