Steal This Film

4 03 2008

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Tuesday, March 4th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

6:00 PM to 6:40 – Steal This Film pt 1

Steal This Film is a film documenting the movement against intellectual property released via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol.

The film is notable for its critical analysis of an alleged regulatory capture attempt performed by the Hollywood film lobby to leverage economic sanctions by the United States government on Sweden through the WTO. Alleged aims included the application of pressure to Swedish police into conducting a search and seizure against Swedish law for the purpose of disrupting The Pirate Bay’s BitTorrent tracker.

6:45 PM to 7:30 PM – Steal This Film pt 2

This part examines the technological and cultural aspects of the copyright wars, and the implications of the internet for copying. It includes an exploration of Mark Getty’s infamous statement that ‘intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century’. It was selected for the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival and South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It was also shown during the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow called it ‘an amazing, funny, enraging and inspiring documentary series’.

 





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.





THE CENTURY OF THE SELF: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads- He Must Be Destroyed

27 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 28th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

 

5 PM and 6 PM – There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed (60 min)
In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America. They were inspired by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of Freud’s, who had turned against him and was hated by the Freud family. He believed that the inner self did not need to be repressed and controlled. It should be encouraged to express itself.

Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people’s minds by business and politics.

This programme shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard’s Erhard Seminar Training – into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation.

But the American corporations soon realised that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.





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.





Hey fucker! Counter-Culture is for Pussies!

7 05 2007

Grant Morrison

Tuesday, May 8th in HCL 4

8:00- Aleister Crowley: The Wickedest Man in the World (BBC)

He is perhaps best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law, the central sacred text of Thelema. Crowley was also an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the Argenteum Astrum, and Ordo Templi Orientis.

Other interests and accomplishments were wide-ranging—he was a chess player, mountain climber, poet, painter, astrologer, hedonist, drug experimenter, and social critic.

Although this documentary is heavily biased against Crowley, it shows a great deal about his life. Dubbed “The Wickedest Man in the World” and “The Beast”, many still see him today as an incarnation of pure evil.

He influenced: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Graham Bond, Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Grant Morrison, Manic Street Preachers, Tool, The Rolling Stones, Pantera, John Frusciante, Primal Scream, Alphaville, Klaxons, Wicca, The Hippies, Robert Anton Wilson, and countless others.


9:00- The Disinfo Con 2000

Douglas Roshkoff

Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, New York University professor, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He sees “media” as the landscape where this interaction takes place, and “literacy” as the ability to participate consciously in it.

He has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries – The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and  The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance.

Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University.

Topics include: “Us” vs “Them”, Media, Internet, “Counter Culture”, and more.

Grant Morrison

Comic book author and chaos magick practitioner, Grant Mirrison’s gives a mind blowing talk at the Disinfo Con. Known for such contributions and works as Judge Dredd, Batman (Arkham Asylum), Superman, All Star Superman, JLA, Flash, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, The Invisibles, The Filth, WE3, Seaguy, Marvel Boy, Fantastic Four, New X-Men, Spawn, Vampirella, and the list goes on and on….

Topics include: The Human Condition, The State of the World, Psychedelics, Magick, Society, The Invisibles, Terrence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, Aliens, and more.





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?