Watching Adam Curtis

A poem that shares a title with a docu-series by Adam Curtis from 2011

The first time I watched an Adam Curtis documentary was “Century of the self” about a decade ago. After that, I have, on-and-off, tried to watch everything by him that I could get my hand on.

Not all of it felt equally good, but the good ones were very rewarding. No one else, to my knowledge, comes close to tackling these themes, hard-to-grasp and spread out over decades and involving so many threads of narrative as they are.

For the first time I looked up his filmography and found out that — I found this amazing — he has been making “this sort of thing” since before I was born (!)

Also, I realized I’d watched his work in a very haphazard, non-chronological order, jumping across decades.

I just watched the first 30min of the first episode of his latest creation after a gap of many years (I can’t get you outta my head), and it feels like one of his better ones.

I tend to watch everything slowly these days, so I imagine it will take me a while to get through it (at over eight hours), and perhaps I will mention whether or not it lived up to expectations when I am done.

But in the meantime, I can recommend these favorites of mine (I have been able to find everything on Youtube):

  • The century of the Self (2002)
  • All watched over by machines of loving grace (2011)
  • The Trap: what happened to our dream of freedom (2007)
  • Pandora’s Box (1992)


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