- Producers: Adam Curtis
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 4
- Run Time: 770 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- ASIN: 1615775404
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,730 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Four by Adam Curtis: Power of Nightmares, Century of Self, The Trap, The Living Dead [4-DVD set in Amaray Case, PAL]
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Disc 1. The POWER of NIGHTMARES. Instead of a better world, politicians only promise to protect us from nightmares: the threat of an international terror network. It is an illusion, a myth that has spread through politics and international media -- a fantasy that restores the power of politicians in a disillusioned age. 3 hrs. Disc 2. The CENTURY of the SELF. The triumph of the self is thought to be the ultimate expression of democracy, of power to the people. Bur are we really in charge? This series reveals the background to the mass-consumer society in the UK and US. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? Featuring Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays, who pioneered psychology in advertising. A Wall Street banker says: "People must be trained to desire, to want new things." 4 hrs. Disc 3. The Trap explores how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today's dysfunctional idea of freedom. The baleful influence of win-lose game theory on economics and international relations, of free market theory on society, over-the-counter drugs, bureaucracies and schools. The rhetoric of freedom used to justify violence and "shock therapy" in Eastern Europe and in Iraq, with horrific consequences. A very intelligent film. 3 hrs. Disc 4. The Living Dead explores how those who aim for control over us manipulate our past. "On the Desperate Edge of Now" investigates the way the national memory was altered between Nuremberg and the Cold War. In "You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough," attempts to doctor individual memory with drugs were abandoned in favor of rewriting history. "The Attic" tells how Thatcher used PR to cast herself in the role of a new Winston Churchill. 3 hrs. See also the extensive descriptions on Wikipedia. VIDEO QUALITY ADVISORY: Adam Curtis films are available only in versions recorded from broadcast. Video quality will not be equal to a digital production DVD. "Region-free."
Top customer reviews
The best of the films in the critics' view is the Century of the Self about the rise of public relations in the US and the influence of Fruedianism and other schools of psychology on politics, business and culture over the twentieth century. There are 4 episodes and the development of each is roughly chronological. Major thinkers and players in their fields supply interviews and comments. Adam Curtis is the narrator who talks over the linking segments. With his well cut archive material appropriate to each time, it makes for intellectually stimulating viewing and if you haven't heard the stories of psychiatry before these series of films will hopefully open eyes and bring forth curiousity and not a little wonder. I found this documentary to be very interesting, humourous in an dark kind of way and informative.
The Living Dead is a series of 3 films of an hour duration each on the rewriting of history especially that of world war II and links nicely in with the Power of Nightmares series of 3 films on the rise of Al Qaeda and cold war politics with its impacts today. The Trap is probably the least successful but none the less rewarding series of 4 one hour films on the debate over freedom in the west and the cold war's influence of some of the thinkers of that time and on how it may have created a kind of quandry for politicians and leadership in western ideology in the post-Soviet world.
Despite being made over a decade ago in some cases, 1995 in the case of the Living dead, the films still give us much to think about and the humour hidden in the makers views and the way the films are cut is a nice light touch in places. Sure to arouse crys of rubbish and cranky conspiracy theorists, these films will also appeal to discerning thinkers and people wanting to see and hear of other points of view and experiences but not to be taken as a manifesto for anarchy in my view, Curtis still has something important to say and he says it well. I wish he'd make more of such films. I also liked his Machines of loving grace documentaries.