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Which clippings match '1945' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 JANUARY 2015

Bitter Lake by Adam Curtis: how the West fooled itself

"My aim is to try to get people to look at those fragments of recorded moments from Afghanistan in a new and fresh way. I do feel that the way many factual programmes on TV are edited and constructed has become so rigid and formulaic – that the audiences don't really look at them any more. The template is so familiar.

I am using these techniques to both amplify and express the wider argument of Bitter Lake. It is that those in power in our society have so simplified the stories they tell themselves, and us, about the world that they have in effect lost touch with reality. That they have reduced the world to an almost childlike vision of a battle between good and evil.

This was the story that those who invaded Afghanistan carried with them and tried to impose there – and as a result they really could not see what was staring them in the face: a complex society where different groups had been involved in a bloody civil war for over 30 years. A world where no one was simply good or bad. But those in charge ignored all that – and out of it came a military and political disaster.

But the film also tries to show why Western politicians have so simplified the world. Because Afghanistan's recent past is also a key that unlocks an epic hidden history of the postwar world."

(Adam Curtis, 24 January 2015, The Telegraph)

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TAGS

1945 • 1970s America • 1973Adam CurtisAfghanistanArab • BBC iPlayer-only • Bedouin • Bitter Lake (2015) • bitter rivalries • caliphate • Come Down To Us (Burial 2013) • complex problems • deal • destabilised politics • documentarydocumentary film • dreamlike documentary style • drone • epic moment • footageFranklin D. Roosevelt • generations to come • global capitalismglobal politics • good versus evil • grand hypothesis • grand political dream • Helmand • ideology • imagined past • Islamic fundamentalism • Islamism • Kabul • King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia • Malcolm Tucker • Margaret ThatcherMiddle Eastmilitary intervention • Pashtun • Perry Mason • Phil Goodwin • Pushtun • recorded moments • Ronald ReaganSaudi Arabia • simplified stories • Solaris (1972) • Suez Canal • Wahhabi Islam • Wahhabism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 OCTOBER 2013

The enduring legacy of The World At War

"The World at War had many strengths but the key to its success as compelling history television was the formidable array of interviewees. Top military leaders, including German naval commander Karl Doenitz and the head of RAF Bomber Command, Arthur Harris, had their say alongside humble soldiers, sailors and airmen. Key politicians like wartime foreign secretary Sir Anthony Eden shed light on the war's wider arc, while ordinary citizens told of events from their perspective. Several members of Hitler's inner circle were also tracked down and interviewed, including his valet, secretary and adjutant. Death camp survivors told their terrible tales, as did a few of their shamefaced captors. More years have now passed since the making of The World at War than elapsed between 1945 and the programme's first showing in 1973. So, sadly, a programme like this can never be made again: the number of living witnesses to World War II is dwindling every day. We are fortunate that Isaacs and his team had the vision and talent to make The World at War when they did."

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TAGS

19451973Adolf Hitler • Anthony Eden • archive footage • Arthur Harris • British television • Carl Davis • Charles de Gaulle • Charles Douglas-Home • David Elstein • death camp • definitive account • documentary evidence • foreign secretary • Franklin D. RooseveltHarry Truman • Hideki Tojo • historical chronicleshistory • history television • inner circle • interviews • Jeremy Isaacs • Joseph Stalin • Karl Doenitz • Laurence Olivier • military campaign • military historymilitary leader • naval commander • Nazi • Neville Chamberlain • Noble Frankland • politician • RAF Bomber Command • sailor • social historysoldiersurvivor • Ted Childs • television documentarytelevision programmetelevision seriesThames Television • The World at War • UKTV • warwartimeWinston ChurchillwitnessWorld War II

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2011

A personal story of the materiality of contamination

Yelena Popova's reflections on the materiality of contamination and the Kyshtym nuclear disaster of the 9th September 1957.

Fig.1 Yelena Popova (2010). still from 'Unnamed', short artist documentary telling a personal story of a secret town in Russia, 10 minutes.

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TAGS

19451957 • artist documentary • atom bomb • Chernobylcitizenshipcold warconsequencescontamination • density • disasterenvironmentfilm essayglass • glass blowing • invisibleKazakhstan • Kyshtym disaster • Lake Kyzyltash • mapmaterials • Mayak plant • metaphor • molten • nationalityNevadanuclear disaster • Ozyorsk • paper weight • personal storyradiationradioactive contaminationRussiasandsecretsecret townshort filmsouvenirtranslucenceunderstandingYelena Popova

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 MARCH 2011

The first graphical user interface using the desktop as a metaphor

"In 1973, the first graphical user interface was built at PARC, using the desktop as a metaphor. The UI introduced windows, icons, menus, file management, and tool palettes. Looking back at the first screenshots of this first GUI, the designs feel familiar even now. In 1974 PARC developed a What–You–See–Is–What–You–Get cut & paste interface, and in 1975 the demonstrated pop–up menus. The desktop concept was pushed quite a bit further by 1981 in the commercial Xerox Star PC interface, which was an important influence for the PC UI's created at Microsoft, Apple, NeXT, and Sun Microsystems in the 80's and 90's."

(Mike Kruzeniski, 17 February 2011)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 OCTOBER 2009

Fernand Mourlot lithographe: Le Taureau de Pablo Picasso

"The printing process took fifteen days. On December 5th 1945, one month after his first visit to the rue Chabrol studio, Picasso made a wash drawing of a bull. A wonderful bull, very well rendered, sweet, even. Then we printed the proofs – only two or three, making this first state of the bull an extremely rare. One week later he returned and asked for a fresh stone; he made another wash drawing and quill drawing; then he started again on the 18th. For the third state he changed technique, scraping down to the stone and drawing over to accentuate the contours; the bull became a terrible creature, with terrifying horns and eyes. Well, that wouldn't do – Picasso took the composition to the fourth state, on December 22, and then a fifth on December 24. Each time he simplified the drawing; it bacame more and more geometric, with zones of flat black...

He then made the sixth and seventh states (December 26th and 28th), and then four more between January 5th and 17th – eleven in all. The taureau was reduced to its essential form, rendered in a few perfectly placed lines which symbolized this poor bull with his pinhead and ridiculous horns like antennae. The workers all regretted seeing such a magnificent bull transformed bit by bit into a sort of insect.

It was Célestin who finally expressed it: 'Picasso ended up where normally he should have started.' It's true; but in order to achieve his pure and linear rendering of the bull, he had to pass through all of the intermediary stages. And when you stand before his eleventh bull, it's hard to imagine the work that went into it"

(Fernand Mourlot, Gravés dans ma mémoire, Ed. Robert Laffont, 1979)

1). Pablo Picasso, Les 11 états successifs de la lithographie Le Taureau , 1945.

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TAGS

19451946abstractionartartistbulldrawing • Fernand Mourlot • formalismlithographyPablo Picassoprintingsketchtaureautorrosvisual communicationvisual depictionvisualisation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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