Directed by Adam Curtis
There’s a poetry to Curtis’ exhaustive journalistic film essays. He’s one of the few directors these days that truly takes advantage of the fabric of time.
As an editor, it’s the reason why he keeps showing up on my list every year. Here is someone who can fold wide expanses of time and still make it legible and interesting. The sheer amount of ground he covers within one minute would take most documentary mini-series full episodes worth of time. But we’re talking technique.
There’s no living filmmaker, fiction or non-fiction, who is so contemporary and yet so far ahead of his time.
HyperNormalisation is of no exception. By traversing the narrative along stretches of time and places, he eventually ends up where he always does, steeped solely in the politics of present day, occasionally visually foot-noting the past in his recipe for prophecy.
It’s a trademark, I don’t doubt, will prove him withstanding for many years to come. His previous film and my personal favourite, The Century of the Self already has its fingerprints on current global geopolitics in the worst ways possible.
The worst ways possible made so comforting by Adam Curtis’ narration, which acts as this calm, soothing alarm bell repeating the jangling cries of danger and doom.
It doesn’t help that he brilliantly pairs the voice of reason with Scubaz’s “The Vanishing American Family” throughout and suddenly, you don’t know whether to drift into a placid dream or awake from the whole frightening nightmare.