THE CENTURY OF THE SELF: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

3 12 2007

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Wednesday, December 5th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM and 6 PM – Century of the Self Part Four – Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering (60 min)

This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self.

Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people’s inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn’t realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.

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The Century of the Self: The Engineering of Consent

17 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 21st in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM and 6 PM – The Century of the Self: The Engineering of Consent (60 min)

The beginning briefly recaps the previous episode so don’t worry if you missed the first part!

Description: The Engineering of Consent

The programme explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud’s ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses.

Politicians and planners came to believe Freud’s underlying premise – that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires and fears. They were convinced that it was the unleashing of these instincts that had led to the barbarism of Nazi Germany. To stop it ever happening again they set out to find ways to control this hidden enemy within the human mind.

Sigmund Freud’s daughter, Anna, and his nephew, Edward Bernays, provided the centrepiece philosophy. The US government, big business, and the CIA used their ideas to develop techniques to manage and control the minds of the American people. But this was not a cynical exercise in manipulation. Those in power believed that the only way to make democracy work and create a stable society was to repress the savage barbarism that lurked just under the surface of normal American life.





The Century of the Self: Happiness Machines

12 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 14th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM- The Century of the Self: Happiness Machines (60 min)

The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.

His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today’s world.





American Drug War: The Last White Hope

7 10 2007

 Drug War

Wednesday, October 10th in the TA

The best documentary you’ll see on the American Drug War! It’s a pre-release and produced by Sacred Cow (the studio behind the works of the legendary comedian Bill Hicks). You’ll be kicking yourself in the face if you miss this.

5 PM- American Drug War: The Last White Hope (120 min)

35 years after Nixon started the war on drugs, we have over one million non-violent drug offenders living behind bars.The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure? Inspired by the death of four family members from “legal drugs” Texas filmmaker Kevin Booth sets out to discover why the Drug War has become such a big failure. Three and a half years in the making, the film follows gang members, former DEA agents, CIA officers, narcotics officers, judges, politicians, prisoners and celebrities. Most notably the film befriends Freeway Ricky Ross; the man many accuse for starting the Crack epidemic, who after being arrested discovered that his cocaine source had been working for the CIA. AMERICAN DRUG WAR shows how money, power and greed have corrupted not just drug pushers and dope fiends, but an entire government. More importantly, it shows what can be done about it. This is not some ‘pro-drug’ stoner film, but a collection of expert testimonials from the ground troops on the front lines of the drug war, the ones who are fighting it and the ones who are living it.After 4 years of production including several sold out test screenings in New York, Austin & Los Angeles, the final version of American Drug War “the last white hope” is locked and loaded.

Trailer:

More info: http://www.americandrugwar.com/





Future by Design

29 09 2007

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Wednesday, October 3rd in the TA

5 PM- Future by Design: (88 Min)

‘Future by Design’ presents ninety year old futurist, Jacque Fresco, who has spent his whole life designing the future. A technologist, an inventor, an industrial designer, an artist — peer to Albert Einstein and Buckminster Fuller – Jacque is a fascinating character, lively and engaging. This documentary presents not only Jacque Fresco’s decades of work, but captures his vibrancy, enthusiasm and curiosity, all of which continue to inform his optimism for the future of humanity as a whole. This modern-day Da Vinci has a practical vision for the future – where we all are true equals, collaborating peacefully for the betterment of everyone. Helmed by Academy Award-nominated director William Gazecki.

Jacque Fresco lives in Venus, Florida. His optimistic view and desire to create solutions that maximally benefit the greatest number of people stem from his formative years during the Great Depression. To this day he writes and lectures extensively on subjects ranging from the holistic design of sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural resource management and advanced automation, focusing on the benefits it will bring to society.





True Stories and Born Rich – The American Dream

30 04 2007

Tuesday, May 1st in HCL 4

 8:00 PM – Born Rich

Born Rich is a 2003 documentary about the experience of growing up as a child in one of the world’s richest families. It was created by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune.

The film was described as “a documentary on children of the insanely rich, directed by one of their own, Johnson & Johnson Inc. heir Jamie Johnson.” It consists primarily of Johnson interviewing his friends and peers about the experience of living life free of financial constraints. These interviews are offset by Johnson’s exploration of his own experience and family.

The documentary was nominated for two Emmy Awards including ‘Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming’ for the director, Jamie Johnson. The other nomination was in the category ‘Outstanding Nonfiction Special’.

Trailer: http://www.ifilm.com/video/2651221


9:20 PM- True Stories

“True Stories” David Byrne (lead singer of the Talking Heads) narrates and stars in a what could be called the only simultaneous mockumentary/documentary/musical. The “mockumentary” is all about this small Texas town’s sesquicentennial, but the real plot is about the strange characters who, with their antics and musical interludes (that’s the musical part), critique our American Dream and its ugly step-child: Suburbia.

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092117/trailers





Czech Dream and Surplus

21 04 2007

Surplus

Tuesday April 24th in HCL 4

8:00 PM – CZECH DREAM: A Supermarket for a better life!

This film documents the largest consumer hoax a country has ever seen. Two young documentary filmmakers, set out to explore the psychological and manipulative powers of consumerism by creating an ad campaign for something that didn’t exist.

The campaign (designed by a renowned advertising agency) involved television and radio spots, 400 illuminated billboards, 200,000 flyers promoting CZECH DREAM brand products, an advertising song, a website, and advertisements in newspapers and magazines.

The marketing campaign drew over 4,000 people who turned up on the ‘opening day’. On the 31st of May 2003, they arrived at a green field where, instead of a supermarket, they found just the dream supermarket’s façade (10m high and 100m wide).

9:40 PM – SURPLUS: Terrorized Into Being Consumers

This documentary is an intense visual odyssey filmed in the US, India, China, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Canada and Cuba over three years. From the explosive riot days in Genoa 2001 to $7000 sex dolls in the US, SURPLUS explores the destructive nature of consumer culture. Breathtaking cinematography turns the notion that 20% of the world is gobbling up 80% of its resources from pure statistics into an overwhelming emotional experience. Surplus is the result of a complicated editing process by talented music composer/editor/percussionist Johan Söderberg.

The world was shocked when young protesters in Seattle, Genoa and Gothenburg attacked shop windows, cars and banks. SURPLUS sets off on a world journey seeking the answer to the question: why is the lifestyle of consumerism a source of such rage today?