Lost in the Movies: The Power of Nightmares (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #52)

The Power of Nightmares (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #52)

Both highly relevant and very much a time capsule, Adam Curtis' The Power of Nightmares depicts the War on Terror as a clash between two delusional, unpopular ideologies attempting to replace unfashionable hope with paranoid fear. Curtis' polemical approach involves not just interviews and illustrative b-roll but also propulsive editing of heavily manipulated found footage with immersive electronic pop soundtracks; this is my podcast's third stylistically unconventional, thematically retrospective 2010s documentary in a row (after Heart of a Dog and Blue Velvet Revisited). Coming back to the movie now, I can actually relate to it much more than when I initially watched a few years after its release. Its portrait of an American empire willfully blinded by hubris resonates with how I see the world at present. But Nightmares is also a portrait of a neoconservative right wing that differs from the more cynical, less ambitious national "populism" of the current moment. Even the film's one dip into domestic culture war (a curiously outdated view of the Clinton impeachment) emphasizes the idiosyncrasy. I found the film fascinating to dig into given the passage of time; while the emphasis is more on 9/11, Afghanistan, and domestic prosecutions (as well as the Islamic fundamentalism and Cold War context that birthed the neocons and al Qaeda), the recent twentieth anniversary of the Iraq War makes this episode feels even more apropos.

Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts
You can also listen on Pinecast and Spotify
(and most places podcasts are found)


"Beware the Holy War" by Peter Bergen (The Nation)


New on the site
(TWIN PEAKS Character Series)

No comments:

Search This Blog