Saturday, July 25, 2009

It Felt Like a Kiss

Put together in his trademark montage style, the film ties numerous story strands together in order to evoke the atmosphere of the kind of world that American power was ushering in in the late 1950s and 1960s. In the absence of Curtis’ trademark voice, narrating the action, subtitles and the rest of the soundtrack - the music in particular, pick up the slack.

As a piece of visual art, it is well worth a watch. But unlike the rest of his work, after about 20 minutes, one does begin to wonder - what is the point of all this? What is he actually trying to say? Maybe it is not as simple as all that, and the film is just what it says it is - “a story”. Maybe the film itself is incomplete outside the context of the live performance it was originally intended to cooperate with.

There are a few funny, strange, interesting little cultural titbits and juxtapositions, but the babyish seeming nature of the narrative is troubling - this happened, then this happened, then this - as is the overall tone. Is this a serious examination or a black comedy? The way that everything turns on a pin with the Kennedy assassination, America losing its innocence, this is something that I have seen peddled time and time again, and I just don’t buy it.

Available for a limited time only on Adam Curtis’ BBC blog, here. I recommend you make up you own mind.


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