Can’t Get You Out of My Head (2021) – Adam Curtis documentary on how money replaced the grand dreams of the future, but then took on a life of its own. [1:10:36]

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This guy is great I highly recommend his documentary titled hypernormalisation, hard to summarise but it’s basically a journey through time that highlights specific sub-cultures, political and economic turning points that made society what it is today. Really interesting watch.


I’m 20 minutes in feels like I’ve watched the first 4 minutes of 6 or 7 different documentaries.


I’ve pretty much seen every single one of Curtis’ documentaries, and for my money he’s built an incredible legacy that stands shoulder to shoulder with any of the other great documentarians of our time like Errol Morris, Chris Marker, and Ken Burns. But I think “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” is simultaneously one of his most engrossing projects and one of his weakest. In terms of structure, I think it’s very interesting that he’s explicitly directing the show in a way that encourages viewers to Google along. I really think his strongest ability as a film maker is how he’s able to tie so many figures of a given historical moments zeitgeist to one central concept or idea, and the incredible amount of name-dropping has now become a sort of interactive, or dialogical, aspect of his work. It’s a very unique method, and is perfect for sending the viewer down any number of absolutely fascinating rabbit holes. The negative aspect of this is that it’s necessary for Curtis to make a square peg fit a round hole, which in this case is the particular narrative he is conjuring. This means he’s forced to make generalizations or simplify certain events in order to reach his conclusion, which at certain times can feel either grating or far-fetched. Then again he’s never shied away from admitting that he is constructing a narrative, which I really admire, as much of the “objective” journalism currently available has lost its ability to truly impact people and all too often seems to carry a sort of condescending vibe. The biggest negative, which also becomes apparent when one looks through his whole catalogue, is that he very often self-cannibalizes. Somehow I felt like many of the stories CGYOOMH offered seemed familiar, and the awe-inspired feeling I got after seeing “Century of the Self”, “The Mayfair Set”, and “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace” just wasn’t there. In a weird way, I guess it shows just how ahead of the curve Curtis has been for the past 30 years, because it’s only now that I can confidently say that the topics Curtis has explored throughout his career; power, ideas, the bleak outlook the 21st century subject has on the future, and geopolitical conflicts, are now being spearheaded by newcomers. I will never stop re-watching his shows and make sure to hunt down information about obscure characters like Michael X or Horst Mahler during night-long session on Wikipedia, but I’m now ok with the idea of Curtis winding down his incredible career. I’m sure he’ll keep going until he keels over, but at this point I’d love to see him zoom in rather than zoom out, and focus on more tightly knit stories and topics – because I’m now starting to feel like his opinions on our modern day woes will no longer continue to seem as fresh or insightful in the years to come.


So no Kylie Minogue ?


This shit is fun but so revisionists and fanciful. He makes it sound as if a bunch of scientists and engineers sat down and said, how can we make a machine that operates binarily as a method to control human thought – then 5 minutes later goes on about how Americans are plagued with inability to discern preposterous conspiracies from valid ones…. like what? Seen a mirror bro? His imagination and cherry picked clips of what he believes the Black Panthers are/were, are just such a clear demonstration of confirmation bias – believe a thing, seek evidence to support that thing. This is so prevalent in history and sociology. If you believe a thing – you need to seek out evidence to contradict your belief. When you’ve really exhaustively searched and can’t find it, then you can feel a bit of confidence in your initial thesis.