Caught by the River

Played Out On Machines Of Loving Grace

25th May 2011

Adam Curtis documentaries seem to come purpose built to blow minds. Monday night’s All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace was no different – a tangled web treatise on the modern world that effortlessly linked the undisputable problems in our financial systems back to the Rush inspiring author Ayn Rand. It’s hard – pointless even – to try to explain how Curtis masterfully pulls all the threads together, certainly with anything like the same conviction or precision that he does – you’ll end up sounding like a stoned student espousing demented conspiracy theories amidst mounts of detritus at 3am – that or David Icke only with less talk of lizards. Best just watch the show. It’ll be on iPlayer for the next week or so; it’s stunning.

One thing that’s worth drawing attention to is Curtis’ exemplary choice of music. Last night’s show alone featured Pizzacato Five, Radioactivity by Kraftwerk, The Kills and a phenomenal bit of warped ambient music that I later found out was Nine Inch Nails, a band I’ve avoided like any number of plagues (until hearing Trent Reznor’s brilliant Oscar winning score for The Social Network). Like that other TV revolutionary Chris Morris (check the playlists on the telly version of Jam), music acts as something of a backbone to Curtis’ shows, often to dizzying and dazzling effect. Can’t wait for next week’s show.