June 21, 2009

New Adam Curtis Project: "It Felt Like a Kiss"

This is the guy who made the BBC documentaries, Century of the Self (see my previous post on Century here) and The Trap (they don't provide a working embed "in [my] area," so the image at right is just a screen grab). Contrary to the UK Guardian reviewer's hype (I'm sure he was trying to help), Curtis is not i.m.h.o. mad, merely brilliant; I liked Century so much I bought copies to give to friends. Here's more from the same reviewer on Curtis' new work, It Felt Like A Kiss:

Except it isn't just a documentary. It's also a piece of interactive theatre, with music composed by Damon Albarn and performed by the Kronos Quartet. And it doesn't take place in a cinema or concert hall, but across five floors of a deserted office block in Manchester.

. . . . After a struggle, Curtis himself says it's "a psycho-political theme experience in which you become a central character. It's going to be frightening. A walk of enchantment and menace." On the official website, viewers are advised that it's "not suitable for those of a nervous disposition". "Please wear suitable footwear," it adds, ominously.

* * * * *
But where his preceding works have occasionally been a touch eccentric, this one . . . is completely and utterly demented – in a positive way. . . .

And the editing. . . . The marriage of Phil Spector's wall of sound and Curtis's wall of images is so perfect, so strange and striking, it jangled around my head for hours afterward. . . . It'll probably kill people.

* * * * *
From now on, all of Curtis's work will be produced first and foremost for the internet. It will be hosted at bbc.co.uk/adamcurtis (coming soon). An hour-long cut of the whole thing will be placed on the site on the last day of the Manchester International Festival (MIF). It will also host his next two projects . . . .
Much more at the UK Guardian (thanks, Randy!) PS: This sounds at least somewhat anticipated by GuruGuru by Rotozaza (see my previous post here), who confirmed to me that they were influenced by Century of the Self and The Trap.

You can buy Century here. The Trap seems at least somewhat less available. As of this writing, you could watch all of Century and The Trap on YouTube – in segments, but the segments weren't all labelled so as to make the sequence totally obvious. So here's a list of links to the segments, in case it's helpful:
The Trap - Episode 1 - F**k You Buddy

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyyMv2e7giQ&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRiHf6uVWsc&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WHMDn2VdBc&feature=related
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-L2FPEiAQc&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0916qGs8QM&feature=related
6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDPKqHKtN6k&feature=related

The Trap - Episode 2 - The Lonely Robot

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJwyOzk7YhA&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv_515-cpFY&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMw4ISOK2nU&feature=related
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rg3JtjNIVE&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNyIo-lfLdk&feature=related
6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5vTODv_rGU&feature=related

The Trap - Episode 3 - We Will Force You to Be Free

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNZ28na7ksY&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV_LmK7_kxo&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f-_JlI1Ck4&feature=related
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edOLc21YP-U&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0RoN9BpBY0&feature=related
6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1bjQYk9sIE&feature=channel_page

Century of the Self - Episode 1 - Happiness Machines

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3LSyck0YTE&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEsbK_srqrU&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0JHRgREYTc&feature=related
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jKlTnxJVs8&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcBW4go0U6s&feature=related
6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp6M3A6vBZk&feature=related

Century of the Self - Episode 2 - The Engineering of Consent

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrpC7b68prQ&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_B_eWZfUa0&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBrF7jbbRyc&feature=related
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBgLsOfIZ8Q&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJtRRddC5rs&feature=related
6. (I found no 6th segment as of this writing; not sure if there is one.)

Century of the Self - Episode 3 - There Is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IYyGai8n6Q&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efE5qYqBCKQ&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CUXQTk5YBM&feature=related
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGpOjoBhPko&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpRQET-5PoU&feature=related
6. (I found no 6th segment as of this writing; not sure if there is one.)

Century of the Self - Episode 4 - Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXiS9m-qW0g&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7DMsVvxtsw&feature=related
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9IfiW9YQ6s&feature=related
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGlnABuujxM&feature=related
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNxq4OZXUVM
6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWAu_NOVMW0&feature=related

UPDATE: Curtis's own, updated website with Century and other docs in many fewer parts (like, 4 instead of 24) is up! Start Century here.

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