Author Topic: [Documentary] Century of the Self  (Read 675 times)

Ananas

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[Documentary] Century of the Self
« on: June 06, 2017, 02:29:32 AM »
Let's talk about one of my favorite documentaries of all time.
The Century of the Self. As characterized by IMDB as a documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations.

I had always wondered how consumerism was made a way of life. This documentary explains how psychology is/was used to create a market for consumption. It's very interesting. I watched it a few years ago and it was one of the few documentaries, where something clicked for me. Long before I found MMM, this documentary gave some insight into why we (in general) keep buying loads of stuff to fill needs we didn't know we had.

It can be found on youtube now, posted by the director himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s




lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: [Documentary] Century of the Self
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2017, 10:29:27 PM »
I've seen Curtis' The Trap (first episode here) and he has an interesting and provocative style with heavy usage of historic video clips. From what I've seen, it's great stuff if you want to think about things in a way different than many standard narratives convey but sometimes I think he stretches his arguments too far. I'll have to check out this other film when I have some time and bandwidth for more Curtis.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: [Documentary] Century of the Self
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2017, 10:30:30 PM »
Oh, incidentally, is your user name a reference to pineapples?

marble_faun

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Re: [Documentary] Century of the Self
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2017, 10:52:52 PM »
This is one of my favorite documentaries too! 

I really enjoy Adam Curtis's style. It's rare to see someone tackle a big, theoretical concept in documentary form -- like in this case, how psychological ways of thinking about "the self" have influenced business, politics, and culture over the course of a century. 

The most well-known historical documentaries tend to be about war, politics, or other topics that are fairly straightforward to narrativize. Curtis's films are much more about the deep structural forces underlying society. This is harder to turn into a "story." Yet he does this and pulls it off so well.

I only wish his films came with footnotes. I would love to go back to the sources and reverse-engineer how he linked all of these ideas and people together.
"Time flies pursue it Man. For why? thy days are but a Span."

dismalscience

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Re: [Documentary] Century of the Self
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 04:26:26 PM »
  // , I just watched the first part of the documentary "Trap".

They captivate my interest, but seem to omit whatever would cast doubt on Mr. Curtis' conclusions.

These remind me of Brave New World. Curtis brings up legitimate concerns, and seems to find widely accepted facts into a conclusion we might not have considered.

But it lacks perspective, any effort at a practicable vision for reducing harm, or a willingness to go beyond its almost-parody of bourgeois fears.
// , A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it