The Loving Trap  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"The Loving Trap"[1] is an Adam Curtis parody film by Ben Woodhams. It describes Curtis' work as the "televisual equivalent of a drunken late night Wikipedia binge with pretension for narrative coherence".

Full text:

"This is a story about the rise of the collageumentary and how the medium swamped the message."
"This is a short film about a documentary film maker who made critically lauded programmes for the BBC and about how, along the way, he proved that style always triumphs over substance. In 1992 a strange and brilliant That's Life researcher with a Skinny Puppy CD embarked upon a career producing documentaries about how ideas can spark social movements. Adam Curtis believes that 200,000 Guardian readers watching BBC2 could change the world. But this was a fantasy. In fact he had created the televisual equivalent of a drunken late-night Wikipedia binge with pretension for narrative coherence.
Combining archive documentary material with interviews Curtis filled in the gaps by vomiting grainy library footage onto the screen to a sound track of Brian Eno and Nine Inch Nails. He had discovered that it did not matter what footage he used so long as he changed the shots so bewilderingly fast that the audience didn't notice the chasm between argument and conclusion. This was especially effective when he simply cut the music mid-bar. And as a result Thabo Mbeki was swept to power at the next general election.
Meanwhile in America, a strange and brilliant cameraman was shooting stock footage of Death Valley, California. Curtis implied that this was somehow relevant to the labyrinthine argument he was constructing. His audience believed that it would turn out to be of crucial significance.
But this was a fantasy. Curtis never returned to Death Valley. Or the cameraman. He had discovered that they did not matter because five minutes later his audience had simply forgotten about them. But this did not matter because Curtis spoke with such an impeccable, authoritative BBC manner that the audience took even gross generalisations and unsupported value judgements to be the absolute truth. They simply went along with it.
And thanks to Adam Curtis Brian Eno never had to work again."

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Loving Trap" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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