At first sight the search for peace and stability in Iraq, and the search for physical and mental fitness in the extreme contortions of modern Yoga seem to have absolutely nothing in common. But curiously they do. Both the terrible structural problems and distortions that underly Iraqi society today, and the strange, contorted poses that millions of people perform every day in things like Bikram's Hot Yoga, actually come from the fevered imagination of the British ruling class one hundred years ago. As they felt Britain's power declining they wanted desperately to go back into the past and create a purer and more innocent world, uncorrupted by the messiness of the modern industrial world - a new Eden forged both by strengthening and purifying the human body and by inventing new model countries round the world. And we are still suffering from the consequences of that terrible nostalgia. BODYBUILDING AND NATION-BUILDING
posted by timshel
on Feb 4, 2014 -
It doesn't matter whether you hate the spies and believe they are corroding democracy, or if you think they are the noble guardians of the state. In both cases the assumption is that the secret agents know more than we do. But the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.
—Bugger: Maybe the Real State Secret Is that Spies Aren't Very Good at Their Jobs and Don't Know Very Much About the World
by Adam Curtis. It's about the checkered history of the MI5.
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 9, 2013 -
Adam Curtis on The legacy of the Colonels Coup
- "What is forgotten is that from 1967 to 1974 the Greek people lived under a harsh and violent dictatorship that tortured and murdered thousands of ordinary people. The Colonels also corrupted the society by handing out vast loans to individuals in towns and villages across the country - to buy their loyalty. At the same time the repression and torture bred a powerful resistance that finally burst out in incredible bravery in 1973." [more inside]
posted by marienbad
on Feb 29, 2012 -
From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis
: Experiments in the Laboratory of Consumerism 1959-67
: "I have quite a lot of film from the archives that was shot in the Madison Avenue agencies in the mid 1960s, and I thought I would put some sections up. It is great because it shows some of the major advertising men and women of the time, many of whom are the real-life models for characters in Mad Men."
Includes a 9-minute video interview with the late Herta Herzog
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 23, 2010 -
"I am researching the extraordinary history of the West's relationship to Afghanistan over the past 200 years. It is a very complex, and sometimes weird, story. These are notes on some of the characters and episodes involved."
A work in progress by Adam Curtis
- Kabul: City Number One
. Part One
, and Part Two
posted by robself
on Sep 28, 2009 -
The Flow, by Paul Myerscough
That image gives way, quickly and successively, to a series of others: a young black woman smoking, smiling at the camera through a reinforced glass window; three teenage girls in a car, laughing, filmed through the windscreen; a whip-pan to the American flag, pierced by sunlight, drifting in the breeze; a DIY programme on a pixellated TV screen; a ride-along shot of a family in an oversized golf buggy; two different angles of a man alone in a lecture theatre; two more of traffic at night; a woman, suspicious of the camera, wearing a polka-dot dress and partly obscured by glassy reflections; a blurry shot of a long windowless corridor; a man wearing shades in a crowded street; a woman pursued down the cosmetics aisle of a supermarket; and, as Curtis comes to the end of his three short sentences, a woman seen jogging in the wing-mirror of a moving car.
The entire sequence takes 26 seconds. There’s too much to take in. Or, you don’t know what you’ve taken in, and how deep the impression has been.
posted by acro
on Jun 20, 2007 -
The Mayfair Set [Google Video].
A BBC Documentary series on how City of London bankers systematically dismantled British industry from the 1960s-90s and removed the power of the state to protect people from the greed of the market
A thought provoking documentary from Adam Curtis
whose other documentaries The Power of Nightmares and The Century of the Self have been previously
discussed and well received on Mefi.
It is almost four hours long but well worth the effort.
posted by ClanvidHorse
on Dec 2, 2006 -
The Century Of The Self.
It's a documentary, and the four parts are available at archive.org [2
] -- with a higher quality bittorrent option
]. The program is about the use of psychoanalytical techniques to manipulate and control the "bewildered herd", "engineering consent" in a world fraught with "irrational impulses" [more inside].
posted by gsb
on Feb 26, 2006 -