Podcast 48: HYPERNORMALISATION

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  DAEvo 8 months ago.

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  • #1977

    Adam
    Participant

    Hypernormalisation is a nearly three-hour epic that leaps from subject to subject in a circuitous journey toward revelation. The film paints a vivid portrait of corporate control and increasing social insularity as it tries to make sense of our modern world’s pervasive anxiety and uncertainty.

    In filmmaker Adam Curtis’s world, we are minds in the matrix, doomed to feed the machine with our bodies and souls.

    [See the full post at: Podcast 48: HYPERNORMALISATION]

    #2088

    Mr.H
    Participant

    That lady with the knife in kitchen saying her ABC was creepy.

    What I got was the political class loss, the bankers are grasping at straws and the populace is numb in front of their PC.  Scary indeed.

    #2089

    PurpleVelvet
    Participant

    Yes, the British use the suffixes -ise and we, U.S. English use -ize. Webster popularized spelling differences in the states partly for nationalization and the -ise is in British English leftover from the Norman conquest, IIRC, when the court and aristocracy spoke French. I’m a geek for word etymology. There’s a great podcast called History of the English Language, but you have to really be interested because it starts at the very beginning and I think it has over 60 episodes. The History Channel did a several part series on the subject a few years ago. I loved it.

    I apologise for the digression. 😉  I’ve watched the doc, but haven’t listened to the whole podcast yet, so I will comment on that later.  I was listening but my husband started watched a Trump press conference and I don’t have my earbuds, sadly.

    #2090

    DAEvo
    Participant

    Watched the film and listened to the podcast (and enjoyed both).

    Wanted to comment on two aspects of media featured in the doc — books and film.  Roadside Picnic is one of my favorite books and Stalker is one of my favorite films.  Oddly, I read Roadside Picnic at least once a year, while I will do just about anything not to watch Stalker very often.  Anyway, intrinsic to each of these works is a doomed and hopeful sense of wonder, something this documentary didn’t — and rightfully shouldn’t — cover.

    Being a forty-something skeptic and generally an incredulous crank, hope and wonder appeal to me.  I want more hope and wonder in this world, despite embracing the doom of it all.

    My point, which I shall make brief since this is my first post, is that the documentary left me feeling darker and more confused (its point?) when I really needed some hope or wonder.  Still I appreciated the insight of the podcast and the experience of viewing Hypernormalisation.

    “HAPPINESS FOR EVERYBODY, FREE, AND NO ONE WILL GO AWAY UNSATISFIED!” — Red, Roadside Picnic

    P.S.  That jackass edited in the best part of Stalker (Monkey, the young girl, using telekinesis) with no context or set-up, likely ruining the most amazing bit for potential viewers.  Also, the book and movie were inspirations for the video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl for those interested.

    #2091

    John
    Participant

    Welcome aboard the Magical Mystery Train, DAEvo!

    I love Stalker, and Tarkovsky is one of my favorite filmmakers. In fact, I used to have my own little Tarkovsky festivals at home wherein I’d spend all day watching his films. Epic subconscious mind-benders! Although, I have to admit, his films put me in such an alpha state sometimes I fall asleep watching them. Great dreams though!

    One of these days, Adam and I will do a podcast on or favorite filmmakers. Tarkovsky will definitely be on my list.

    #2092

    DAEvo
    Participant

    Thanks, John.

    Stalker has always made me feel slightly off-kilter. Since you have demonstrated quite a bit of knowledge about film and film making in the podcasts I’ve listened to so far, maybe you can answer a question: Why does the shot of Stalker and his wife in bed at the start of the film look like we’re about to be sucked into an alternate reality? Is it the focal length of the lens? Is the set vibrating (the scene features a train rumbling by)?

    Have you read Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room by Geoff Dyer?

    I’m really enjoying your podcast and both of your perspectives on media, culture, and beyond. Sorry for derailing Hypernormalisation with Tarkovsky talk.

    #2093

    John
    Participant

    Why does the shot of Stalker and his wife in bed at the start of the film look like we’re about to be sucked into an alternate reality? Is it the focal length of the lens? Is the set vibrating (the scene features a train rumbling by)?

    Not sure, but my guess is the way he shoots it through the double doors, as if to say: we’re now moving through the looking glass, so to speak, into another realm. The table and, more specifically, the glass of water on the table does seem to vibrate due to the train, however the glass also moves across the table by some unseen force. This foreshadows the daughter moving a drinking glass via psychokinesis at the end of the film. In fact, the film ends very similarly to how it began (train moving by, room shaking, etc.) Also, the daughter is in bed with the Stalker and his wife at the beginning. She’s asleep, but she’s moving it in the unconscious state, wherein at the end she does so in the conscious.

    Have you read Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room by Geoff Dyer?

    No, I haven’t. I’ll have to check it out some time.

    I’m really enjoying your podcast and both of your perspectives on media, culture, and beyond. Sorry for derailing Hypernormalisation with Tarkovsky talk.

    Thanks, and no worries about derailing the conversation. In fact, I’d argue that it fits in with Hypernormalisation perfectly, as the theme is about what’s real and what’s not, which on a subconscious level is what Stalker (and other Tarkovsky films) evokes in the viewer. And remember, Tarkovsky was a filmmaker at the end of the Soviet Era, which is pertinent to Curtis’ premise about living in a hypernormal reality. Tarkovsky’s work reflects that, whether he intended to or not.

    #2094

    DAEvo
    Participant

    The end of the Soviet Era, the start of the Russian… maybe it is the people and works that happen during these “cusp” moments that truly resonate. The Punctuated Equilibrium of Culture.

    Is “hypernormal” how things seem during these shifts?

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