New Criticals

The overall point of the piece (though to call it that is slightly reductive) is to argue that humans have been forced into inactive roles in every day life. This is largely a result of omniscient power and predictive data. To simplifty, mathematical information derived from tragedies, and victories from the past. This data has in turn, stifled us as a species, into a kind of zombified, fearful state of being mediated by distractions as widespread as Prozac and the birth of CNN and the 24-hour news cycle. Massive Attack v Adam Curtis attempts to find the source of this current moment of cultural paralysis through keen historical observations, and by drawing parallels to what at first appear to be disparate narratives, linked through montage. Song and image interweave, sometimes transitioning abruptly from one tone to another. Intertitles flash the phrases EVERYTHING IS GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN and IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU WILL LOVE THIS. Each edit, either of footage, text or music, drips with meaning and significance with relation to one another: at one moment, wry and cynical, another moment of carefree reckless abandon and another, of menacing dread. A young Russian girl plays with a live pistol that we learn she’s going to sell in order to buy fast food. You might want to dance along to a familiar pop song cue, but you can’t when you’re pushed to this kind of awareness of our own cultural subservience and numbed historical passivity.