Tuesday, March 21, 2017
A Weekend with Adam Curtis
David and I had a very busy but extremely interesting weekend. We spent the weekend at one of our local movie theatres, Cinefamily, with documentary filmmaker, journalist and thinker, Adam Curtis. Curtis is one of our favorites and once we heard that he was coming (a very rare visit to the U.S.), we had to jump at the chance. I'm still trying to process everything that we experienced this weekend. It was definitely my ideal film going experience, where I left the theatre still thinking about what I saw and heard. I will definitely be thinking about all of it for quite some time now. If you haven't seen any of his films, my favorites are Hypernormalisation, The Century of the Self and the Power of Nightmares (all available on the internet. Curtis wants them to be seen. You can read his blog posts over at the BBC (they are all well worth your time.)
The films that we watched this weekend (all picked by Curtis) were (in order:)
"What you don’t see is what people in the past were more able to see. When you are in groups, you can be very powerful. You can change things. You have confidence when things go wrong that you don’t when you’re on your own. That’s why the whole concept of power has dwindled. We’re encouraged just to talk about ourselves and our feelings towards others. We’re not encouraged to see ourselves as part of anything." (a lot of what he said during this lecture is said here in this interview.)
Adam Curtis Show and Tell (a live lecture with clips by Curtis.)
"All you have to do is press a button, sir."
"Why are these people prowling around? Are they alive?
"They think so."
Curtis' introduction to the film Orpheus:
"Even those who thought they were attacking the system -- the radicals, the artists, the musicians, and our whole counterculture -- actually became part of the trickery. Because they too had retreated into the make-believe world. Which is why their opposition has no effect, and nothing ever changes"
"Your question are much more revealing about yourself than my answer would be about me."
"It's a good scream. It's a good scream."
Three films that he was not able to show but wanted to were Stalker, The Truman Show and the Lego Movie.
Adam Curtis and Matt Weiner
Jonathan Lethem and Adam Curtis