Wednesday, December 11, 2013

(What's Dope?) Adam Curtis: The Medium and The Message

Image from Curtis's last film

We all know about Adam Curtis's work as a documentary maker (or at least we should)  from the excellent Century Of The Self to the haunting irony (a trademark in all his films in truth) of The Trap: What Happened To Our Freedom but what does deserve a mention is his work as a blogger.

Curtis's blog, The Medium and The Message, much like his films, is about the folly of elites attempting to impose their visions of the world upon the reality that confronts them and the horrifying, hideous, yet hilarious consequences of doing so but what's surprising is that the power that's often alluring about his films from the off kilter images to the eclectic and haunting soundtracks remain in his blogs without both of these great tools present.

Detailed, well researched, and supplanted with the odd quirky images and archival footage typical of his films, his blogs could easily be developed into a full documentary feature and after reading a couple of them, you're left with an overwhelming feeling that these excellent ideas are wasted on a blog even when they are the best blogs you'll read anywhere.

Maybe being a fan of his previous work has colored my opinion but a quick perusal of his piece of the world wide web might just make you a dedicated reader of his blog and watcher of his films. There isn't a blog of his I haven't liked but blog posts such as "Bugger", "Let Them Eat Plastic", "Madison Avenue", "Lada's Theme", "A Mile Or Two Off Yarmouth" and his most recent blog at the time of writing, "What The Fluck!",  stand out among some great reads

Adam Curtis, in the flesh
I believe that the great filmmakers and documentarians of our time have a number of powers disposal and have one that outshine all the others, Curtis's main strength displayed in his films from Pandora's Box to Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace was his ability to make us look at reality in a different context reminding us of the an often ill recognized truth that reality is hardly what you think it is and the attempts to make it match what you think is a surefire recipe for disaster.

Curious? go check out Adam Curtis's excellent The Medium And The Message blog here.

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