In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep"
and the success of sophomore record The Bends
, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead
were under pressure to deliver once more.
So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor
and got to work.
What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity
-- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology
-- through a mosaic of challenging
, eerily beautiful
music unlike anything else at the time.
Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes
, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments
, the band finally settled on OK Computer
, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed
harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review
for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy
for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown
. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
The British Council Film Collection
"is an archive of over 120 short documentary films
made by the British Council during the 1940s designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played. Preserved by the BFI National Film Archive and digitised by means of a generous donation by Google, the films are now
yours to view, to download and to play with for the first time." A couple of essays
and case studies
also already up, with more to come.
It's been estimated that the average UK adult is now registered on more than 700 databases and is caught many times each day by nearly five million CCTV cameras. So how hard would it be for an average citizen to disappear completely?
That’s the subject
of a new documentary film: Erasing David
, (Trailer: YouTube
) which premieres this evening in the UK on More4
. It's also now available worldwide online at the iTunes store and through several Video On Demand services
, as well as through Good Screenings
. [more inside]
Music! - A 1968 documentary by the National Music Council of Great Britain, featuring folk singing, The Beatles, and even early electronic music produced by tape splicing. Part 1
, part 2
, part 3
, part 4
, part 5
is a British documentary maker with a talent for making poignant, revealing films about people. You can watch his new film Men In The City
‒ an affecting and beautifully shot profile of four very different London workers ‒ on the iPlayer, following its broadcast on the BBC yesterday. You also shouldn't miss his BAFTA-nominated short film Lift
, filmed entirely from within an elevator inside a block of flats, and All White In Barking
, a study from an English town with high immigration and strong BNP support ( pertinently
). Another interview with Marc
In 1999 and 2000, and again from 1995 to 1997, the BBC's Roy Mallard travelled across Britain documenting the everyday lives of ordinary citizens--people like us--for a documentary series with the odd title People Like Us
, to show that these everyday peoples' ordinary lives are indeed just like ours, or us, and we, like theirs, or them.
Sample episodes in the series: Actors 1
/ a Vicar 1
/ Freelance Photographer 1
/ The Pilot Episode, which turned out to be the final episode 1
/ [Wikipedia] [more inside]
The Return of a Clockwork Orange
- Writers, artists, directors, UK film censors and starring actor Malcolm McDowell discuss Stanley Kubrick's classic film A Clockwork Orange
The British documentary Britain's Youngest Brides
follows five teen girls on their paths to the altar. My personal favorite is Catrina
and her 308 pound wedding dress.
'Films from the Homefront'
is a (new) collection of amateur documentaries, newsreels, government films, and home movies documenting life for the ordinary people in Britain during World War II, with background text descriptions/explication. Browse the themes
. The films are QT and wmv format. I found it both poignant and funny, for instance, seeing kids don gasmasks during air raid drills then attempt to continue writing in their lessons. [via Glasgow School of Art Library]