July 24th, 2009

breaking bad

Brian Wilson was terrified of the ocean

Adam Curtis did a sort of video/theatre installation in a building in Manchester 2-19 July. I didn't take so much notice because I wasn't going to be able to go to Manchester to watch it.

But there's a film to go with it, and you can watch it here.

It Felt Like A Kiss

It's 54 minutes long. This is BBC so I'm not sure if you can see it outside of the UK. I will look out for an accessible version. It's ironic if it can't be viewed in the USA, because it is about America in the late fifties and early sixties.

Here is Charlie Brooker's review of it.
If you're familiar with his previous work, you'll know he specialises in creating mesmerising collages, simultaneously impish and forbidding; utterly accessible yet often giddyingly deep... complex ideological arguments and emotional tone poems in one.

But where his preceding works have occasionally been a touch eccentric, this one takes the piss. It is completely and utterly demented - in a positive way... I'm at a loss to describe it... Ominous soundscapes and bubblegum pop weave their way around the images: archive news, Hollywood movies. It's hypnotic.

And the editing. One particular segment, set to River Deep, Mountain High, feels like being repeatedly stung on the mind by a hallucinogenic jellyfish while inhaling huge clouds of history through a pipe.

Worth reading in full. Worth viewing in full.

I think this is exceptionally good. I would say it covers a lot of the same ground as Mad Men, about the authentic human centre, trapped inside ritualised behaviour. Though of course the other thing that Adam Curtis is about is that 'being authentically yourself' is a ritualised trick.