How Did We Get Here?

Adam Curtis made a new series of documentaries under the title Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. It’s meandering through history, touching single persons and characters, somehow interwoven. It’s mesmerizing. I read about it in Fefe Blog and checked it out … and just couldn’t stop watching! 😮

The Trailer

The highly anticipated new work from journalist and Bafta award-winning filmmaker, Adam Curtis will premiere exclusively on BBC iPlayer on 11 February 2021.

This new series of films tells the story of how we got to the strange days we are now experiencing. And why both those in power – and we – find it so difficult to move on.

The films trace different forces across the world that have led to now, not just in the West, but in China and Russia as well. It covers a wide range – including the strange roots of modern conspiracy theories, the history of China, opium and opiods, the history of Artificial Intelligence, melancholy over the loss of empire and, love and power. And explores whether modern culture, despite its radicalism, is really just part of the new system of power.

Adam Curtis says: “These strange days did not just happen. We – and those in power – created them together.”

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World is a BBC Film and BBC Three production for BBC iPlayer. Produced by Sandra Gorel, Executive Producer is Rose Garnett for BBC Film.

Part 1: Bloodshed on Wolf Mountain

We are living through strange days. Across Britain, Europe and America societies have become split and polarised. There is anger at the inequality and the ever growing corruption – and a widespread distrust of the elites. Into this has come the pandemic that has brutally dramatised those divisions. But despite the chaos, there is a paralysis – a sense that no one knows how to escape from this.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head tells how we got to this place. And why both those in power – and we – find it so difficult to move on. At its heart is the strange story of what happened when people’s inner feelings got mixed up with power in the age of individualism. How the hopes and dreams and uncertainties inside people’s minds met the decaying forces of old power in Britain, America, Russia and China. What resulted was a block not just in the society – but also inside our own heads – that stops us imagining anything else than this.

It’s maybe the perfect explanation of how we ended up in these strange times.

Part 2: Shooting and F**king are the Same Thing

The story of what tore the revolutions in the 1960s apart. Jiang Qing in China, Michael X in London, Afeni Shakur in New York believed that millions of people’s minds were haunted by the corruption and the violence of the past. They wanted to show people how to escape those ghosts.

But they hadn’t reckoned with the fact that the old structures of power still haunted their minds too. They too had been scarred by the past – and some of them wanted violent revenge. While psychologists and neuroscientists were starting to discover what they said were hidden forces inside the human brain that really controlled what they did. But the people weren’t aware.

Part 3: Money Changes Everything

The story of how in the 1970s those in power set out to create a world free of the dangerous big ideas of the past. They banished the grand dreams of changing the world. And replaced them with money. People would live from now on in their own heads – in their own dreams. And the banks would lend them the money to create those dreams. While China would supply a wave of cheap consumer goods on a scale never seen before in the world.

But then money broke free across the world. And people started to get frightened that things were out of control. Not just money – but the world’s climate too seemed to be behaving in a strange, unpredictable way. The systems seemed to have a life of their own. Beyond the ability of anyone to shape and predict.

Simon Mayo & Mark Kermode talk to director Adam Curtis about his new series of documentary films, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World.

Please tell us what you think of the interview – we love to include your views on the show every Friday.

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