The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004) - News Poster

News

October Horrors 2017 Day 17 – Prince of Darkness (1987)

Prince of Darkness, 1987.

Directed by John Carpenter.

Starring Donald Pleasance, Victor Wong, Jameson Parker, Lisa Blout, and Dennis Dun.

Synopsis:

A group of university students are recruited by their professor and a local priest to solve the mystery regarding the nature of a large container with a mysterious green fluid within it. Unbeknownst to the students, the fluid is not only a living organism growing at a terrifying rate, but its evil plans could very well spell the end of not just the students, but the end of humanity itself.

John Carpenter is one of the most beloved and well-known directors in horror history, having created several of what many critics and fans consider to be the greatest and, in some cases, most important horror films of all time.

Earlier this month I looked at his brilliant 1982 masterpiece The Thing (which you can read here) a film which marked the
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Did ‘Arrival’ Have a Late Arrival? Our Obsession with UFOs May Be Fading

Did ‘Arrival’ Have a Late Arrival? Our Obsession with UFOs May Be Fading
Arrival,” the shimmering and portentous new why-are-they-here? alien-invasion drama, is on track to bring in around $24 million this weekend. That isn’t shabby, but it’s not spectacular, either. It’s not the kind of box-office performance that one would have expected, a while back, from an acclaimed, star-driven, visually astonishing sci-fi movie about visitors from another world. It’s no surprise, really, that “Arrival” is lagging far behind the second weekend of “Doctor Strange” and “Trolls.” Next to those movies, it’s practically an art film. (The critics seem rapturous about it, and I was too — for about the first three-fifths — though I have to wonder if audiences are going to like the metaphysical head-scratcher of an ending any more than I did.)

Back in the day, an alien-visitation thriller was as close to a sure thing as Hollywood had going. In 2002, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” was little
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bitter Lake – review: Adam Curtis’s beautiful, gripping film unravels a story of violence, bloodshed and bitter ironies

Beginning with a fateful meeting between President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, Curtis delves into a mass of historical archives to shed light on Afghanistan and the west

‘Increasingly, we live in a world where nothing makes any sense,” says Adam Curtis. “Events come and go like waves of a fever, leaving us confused and uncertain. Those in power tell stories to help us make sense of the complexity of reality, but those stories are increasingly unconvincing and hollow.”

So Curtis – who made The Century of Self, The Power of Nightmares, and The Trap: What Happened To Our Dream of Freedom – has made a new film, called Bitter Lake (BBC iPlayer, now), about why those stories stopped making sense, and to try to make sense of them. It’s available only on BBC’s iPlayer, because that means it doesn’t have to fit in with tedious constraints
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Bitter Lake: Adam Curtis's extraordinary career in clips

From That’s Life to The Power of Nightmares and All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace we take a look at the filmmaker’s greatest moments ahead of the iPlayer launch of Bitter Lake

The Observer profile: Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis’s newest film, Bitter Lake, which arrives on iPlayer-only this Sunday at 9pm, traces the threads between America, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia; between finance, oil, drugs and guns. Curtis has reviewed the unedited rushes of almost everything ever shot by the BBC in Afghanistan – many thousands of hours of news coverage from the country.

The atmosphere is of deep foreboding, and the soundtrack is dark and dingy, from ambient stirrings to Bob Dylan’s melancholy Forever Young. But when those trademark Curtis shots of dancing kick in, you’re off to the races again. There are darkly comic moments too: the Afghan The Thick of It, Carry on Up The Khyber,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Massive Attack v Adam Curtis – review

Mayfield Depot, Manchester

It's an irony, given his obsession with our surveillance culture, that if you were to cast the voice of Orwell's Big Brother, Adam Curtis would be hard to beat. The BBC documentary-maker – justly celebrated for series that include The Century of the Self, The Power of Nightmares and All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace – speaks with such paternal conviction, such stylish wisdom, that given half a day in a film archive you suspect he could have you believe pretty much anything. This Manchester international festival collaboration with Bristol-based trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack is billed as a playful showdown, a versus, in the manner of a rap contest or a prize fight; the vast derelict train depot in which this battle is being staged over 10 nights offers a suitably raw-boned backdrop for the high-decibel stand-off – earplugs are given out at the door – but it quickly becomes
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Massive Attack vs Adam Curtis – watch the trailer for their Manchester International Festival show

Director releases trailer for show with Robert del Naja of Massive Attack that will premiere at the Manchester International Festival, and feature Elizabeth Fraser and Horace Andy

Reading on mobile? Watch here

The film-maker Adam Curtis has provided a glimpse of the new work he is prepating with Robert del Naja of Massive Attack for the Manchester International Festival – a piece that he calls "a Glim – a new way of integrating a gig with a film".

It has also been revealed that the show, titled "Massive Attack v Adam Curtis", will feature two guest performers: Elizabeth Fraser, formerly of the Cocteau Twins, and reggae singer Horace Andy. Massive Attack will also play live.

"The show will be a bit of a total experience. You will be surrounded by all kinds of images and sounds," said Curtis, director of films including The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Massive Attack vs Adam Curtis – watch the trailer for their Manchester International Festival show

Director releases trailer for show with Robert del Naja of Massive Attack that will premiere at the Manchester International Festival, and feature Elizabeth Fraser and Horace Andy

Reading on mobile? Watch here

The film-maker Adam Curtis has provided a glimpse of the new work he is prepating with Robert del Naja of Massive Attack for the Manchester International Festival – a piece that he calls "a Glim – a new way of integrating a gig with a film".

It has also been revealed that the show, titled "Massive Attack v Adam Curtis", will feature two guest performers: Elizabeth Fraser, formerly of the Cocteau Twins, and reggae singer Horace Andy. Massive Attack will also play live.

"The show will be a bit of a total experience. You will be surrounded by all kinds of images and sounds," said Curtis, director of films including The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Popbitch to launch paid-for online magazine

Showbiz gossip website magazine will feature contributions from The Power of Nightmares documentary-maker Adam Curtis

Popbitch, the showbiz gossip website, is to launch a paid-for online magazine that will feature contributions from The Power of Nightmares documentary-maker Adam Curtis.

The site, which is co-owned by Camilla Wright, will launch the paid-for app in May offering longer reads alongside Popbitch's trademark online celebrity gossip and weekly newsletter. Popbitch's app will be produced on either a monthly or twice monthly basis.

The new digital magazine will have creative input from Curtis, whose other polemical BBC documentaries include The Mayfair Set and The Century of the Self.

His first contribution is an online video, Popbitch: the next generation, made in collaboration with Brass Eye and South Park writer Jane Bussman, promoting the app and accompanying Kickstarter funding drive that launched on Tuesday and is seeking to raise £25,000 in the next month for creative projects.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Adam Curtis @ e-flux

  • MUBI
"'Adam Curtis is not an artist, but a television journalist,' notes Hans Ulrich Obrist in his press release for the Adam Curtis retrospective [The Desperate Edge of Now] at e-flux through April 14th." Erin Nixon for Idiom: "Obrist's decision to show the work of Curtis serves a timely and important function: to break down what divides art and political reportage as both disciplines struggle to make sense of our current political and economic uncertainty. As Obrist notes, many artists have become interested in Curtis's work, which combines avant-garde filmmaking and journalistic investigation, offering a radical critique of the contemporary world that not only analyzes the ideologies that shape our world but counters them formally. Similar to the way that early 20th century artists opposed to traditional art made 'anti-art,' Curtis makes anti-propaganda films by subverting the political documentary."

Last month in Moving Image Source, Michael Atkinson argued that Curtis is "the 21st century's calm,
See full article at MUBI »

Whitney Biennial 2012

  • MUBI
Quite the rave from Roberta Smith in the New York Times:

One of the best Whitney Biennials in recent memory may or may not contain a lot more outstanding art than its predecessors, but that's not the point. The 2012 incarnation is a new and exhilarating species of exhibition, an emerging curatorial life form, at least for New York.

Possessed of a remarkable clarity of vision, a striking spatial intelligence and a generous stylistic inclusiveness, it places on an equal footing art objects and time-based art — not just video and performance art but music, dance, theater, film — and does so on a scale and with a degree of aplomb we have not seen before in this town. In a way that is at once superbly ordered and open-ended, densely structured and, upon first encounter, deceptively unassuming, the exhibition manages both to reinvent the signature show of the Whitney Museum of American
See full article at MUBI »

Black Mirror Ends, Does Charlie Brooker Deserve A BAFTA?

Charlie Brooker’s pack of 3 stand-alone shows has certainly raised eyebrows with its controversial content but has won plaudits both from critics and the viewing public. The final episode aired last night and the series has left many thinking he should be up for some awards come ceremony time. Does he deserve a BAFTA? Many think so, and if he does achieve that recognition it will have been quite a journey for a man who was once known merely as a venomous critic, spitting vitriol over prime time television.

When the big HBO shows were first aired on this side of the pond I excitedly tuned in every Sunday evening to watch these soon-to-be classics. The Sopranos, Deadwood and 6 Feet Under were like nothing I’d seen before. At the same time I was a regular reader of The Guide, the Guardian’s Saturday supplement, in which Charlie Brooker wrote his Screen Burn column.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011

"No longer critically marginalized as of lesser importance than the fiction feature film, no longer automatically regarded as 'box-office poison,' and with many of its most notable works stimulating widespread debate throughout print and electronic media, the documentary today is enjoying an unprecedented outburst of creative vitality," write the editors of Cineaste in the new Summer 2011 issue. What's more, the rapid evolution of digital technology has made it possible for documentarians to move fast, to fashion raw material culled from ongoing events into cohesive narratives, arguments and/or essays. Case in point: Zero Silence (site; image above), an up-to-the-minute report on the generation that's brought on the Arab Spring, drawing on footage shot between November 2009 and — literally — just a few days ago.

Not only is Zero Silence screening at the Sheffield Doc/Fest (site), running through Sunday, but we're also teaming up with the festival to present it here,
See full article at MUBI »

Adam Curtis to make TV project inspired by The Wire

Documentary-maker behind Power of Nightmares also calls Twitter a 'self aggrandising, smug pressure group'

Adam Curtis, the documentary-maker behind Power of Nightmares, has said he may draw inspiration from hit HBO series The Wire for his next major TV project.

In a wide-ranging interview at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Curtis also attacked Twitter as a "self aggrandising, smug pressure group" which promoted a "narrow non-social view of the world".

He said the site has been used by journalists reporting the Arab spring to simplify the complexities of the uprisings to narrow stories of individuals writing on the site.

"Twitter is fun and it feeds the rat of the self but it is almost as if you miss large chunks of the world [through it]," he said.

Speaking about ideas for his next project Curtis, whose three-part series All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace recently aired to acclaim on BBC2, said
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Adam Curtis to make TV project inspired by The Wire

Documentary-maker behind Power of Nightmares also calls Twitter a 'self aggrandising, smug pressure group'

Adam Curtis, the documentary-maker behind Power of Nightmares, has said he may draw inspiration from hit HBO series The Wire for his next major TV project.

In a wide-ranging interview at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Curtis also attacked Twitter as a "self aggrandising, smug pressure group" which promoted a "narrow non-social view of the world".

He said the site has been used by journalists reporting the Arab spring to simplify the complexities of the uprisings to narrow stories of individuals writing on the site.

"Twitter is fun and it feeds the rat of the self but it is almost as if you miss large chunks of the world [through it]," he said.

Speaking about ideas for his next project Curtis, whose three-part series All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace recently aired to acclaim on BBC2, said
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Adam Curtis: happy to be different

The maker of classic documentary series such as The Trap and The Power Of Nightmares believes he is still learning his trade

Adam Curtis insists that he is not a documentary maker, but a journalist who tells stories that "take serious journalism and fine tune it with low-end trash and jokes" and he dismisses anyone who considers his films – with their unique convergence of quick-fire visual images and off-beat music and background noises – to be some kind of modern art form.

In fact, the former academic and producer of classic documentary series such as The Trap and The Power Of Nightmares goes out of his way to be self-effacing about the effect of his films; they may have won him six Baftas, but he believes he is still learning and at the moment his teacher is the internet.

When we meet to talk in a north London restaurant on a Sunday morning,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Adam Curtis: happy to be different

The maker of classic documentary series such as The Trap and The Power Of Nightmares believes he is still learning his trade

Adam Curtis insists that he is not a documentary maker, but a journalist who tells stories that "take serious journalism and fine tune it with low-end trash and jokes" and he dismisses anyone who considers his films – with their unique convergence of quick-fire visual images and off-beat music and background noises – to be some kind of modern art form.

In fact, the former academic and producer of classic documentary series such as The Trap and The Power Of Nightmares goes out of his way to be self-effacing about the effect of his films; they may have won him six Baftas, but he believes he is still learning and at the moment his teacher is the internet.

When we meet to talk in a north London restaurant on a Sunday morning,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

In praise of… Adam Curtis | Editorial

A documentary film-maker who can link the colour revolutions of eastern Europe to the communes of California

If you are looking for a documentary film-maker who can link the colour revolutions of eastern Europe to the communes of California – via the botanist Arthur Tansley, Field Marshal Jan Smuts, Jay Forrester, Ayn Rand, cybernetics, and machine theory – then Adam Curtis is your man. Curtis aims each of his series at a well-defined target, even if it turns out to be a somewhat idiosyncratic one. In The Century of the Self (2002) it was how Freud's theories were used as a means of control in an age of mass democracy. In The Power of Nightmares (2004) it was the deadly symbiosis of nm1998554 autoLeo Strauss[/link]'s neoconservatism and Islamic jihadism. In his current series, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, the target is the illusion that nature is self-balancing, and how machines
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

In praise of… Adam Curtis | Editorial

A documentary film-maker who can link the colour revolutions of eastern Europe to the communes of California

If you are looking for a documentary film-maker who can link the colour revolutions of eastern Europe to the communes of California – via the botanist Arthur Tansley, Field Marshal Jan Smuts, Jay Forrester, Ayn Rand, cybernetics, and machine theory – then Adam Curtis is your man. Curtis aims each of his series at a well-defined target, even if it turns out to be a somewhat idiosyncratic one. In The Century of the Self (2002) it was how Freud's theories were used as a means of control in an age of mass democracy. In The Power of Nightmares (2004) it was the deadly symbiosis of nm1998554 autoLeo Strauss[/link]'s neoconservatism and Islamic jihadism. In his current series, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, the target is the illusion that nature is self-balancing, and how machines
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Rewind TV: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace; Strangeways – review

Adam Curtis's latest documentary is beautifully put together – but take its central premise to heart and you've lost the plot

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (BBC2) | iPlayer

Behind the dazzling propositions, bold connections and mesmerising archive footage that make up an Adam Curtis documentary there lies a deceptively simple – or simply deceptive – view of history. In Curtis's conception of the modern world, at some point in the 20th century an individual turns up – usually in America – with a sinister new idea that is then adopted by the political-financial military-industrial complex for purposes of commercial exploitation and social control. And, hey presto, it all leads to the mess we're in now.

This was the model for his acclaimed 2002 series The Century of Self, which set out to show how "those in power have used [Sigmund] Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV review: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

The global economic crisis and the mess we're in? Blame it all on the computers

So it was Ayn Rand's fault all along, this fine mess we're in. And there was me thinking it was Fred the Shred, or Gordon Brown, or the American money lenders anyway. Turns out it goes way further back, to the 50s.

This Ayn Rand lady, a Russian with a big brain, a crooked mouth and funny flitty eyes, wrote a book – Atlas Shrugged, and so did the critics. But later, in the 90s, in Silicon Valley in California, a bunch of nerdy entrepreneurs began to adopt some of Ayn's ideas. They freed themselves of political control and lived their lives guided only by selfish desire. Computers helped them create order, a self-stabilising utopia, and they became heroic. At the same time, a man called Alan, who used to be in Rand's reading group
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

External Sites