4 thoughts on “The power of Curtis

  1. His documentaries are brilliantly made… but I nearly fell out my chair the first time I saw Power of Nightmares and heard the voiceover say:

    “But a world without fear was not what the neoconservatives needed to pursue their project. They now set out to destroy Henry Kissinger’s vision.”

    Which gives you a vague hint of the areas in which he studiously and repeatedly misses the point :)

    There’s excellent criticism of Nightmares here:

    And analysis of Curtis’s response to the above here:

    Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it (“Century of the Self” even more so) but when I read “coherent, provocative, aesthetically persuasive” I only fully agreed on the fact that he’s persuasive. I’d also add “funny” as the bits I love most in his documentaries are the clever and sarcastic use of archive footage :)

  2. Thanks for that – I’m still playing catch-up with Medialens, and when I first watched The Power Of Nightmares I was deep in lit crit and not very well-informed anything apart from semi-colons. My main grumble with Century Of The Self was the treatment of game theory, which I think can be a lot more subtle and humane than he allows (not that it always is, just that it seemed a little unfair to blame it for late-stage capitalism).

  3. Yeah. And still they’re some of the best things on telly :)

    Joel Bakan’s “The Corporation” shits on em though IMO. Heartily recommend the book if you’ve not read it.

  4. The Corporation, book and film is the business. Cracking stuff. Best of a string of business docs that came out around the same time.

    I’ve subscribed to Curtis though. TV like that is shamefully rare.

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