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It Felt Like a Kiss - trail

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Adam Curtis | 14:00 UK time, Wednesday, 17 June 2009

It Felt Like A Kiss is a show I am doing with Felix Barrett of the theatre company Punchdrunk. It's at the Manchester International Festival and is a co-production between the festival and the BBC. It starts on July 2nd. This is a short trail.

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'd love to be able to view the content on this page but it appears to be geolocked. Is there really a territorial rights issue on this material or has it merely been set as 'default' by BBC new media. If, as reported in The Guardian, all of Curtis's future projects will be hosted here, is this not a little restrictive to those who enjoy his work from outside of the UK territory? What plans will be in place for allowing overseas subscribers to access this work?

  • Comment number 3.

    I'd like to second KOTJMF's comments. It gets really annoying to keep seeing "not available in your area/region/former colony" so many times.

  • Comment number 4.

    What do you mean "Not Available in my Area"? That's cruel and unusual punishment. Century of Self etc. have excellent shelf life on the interweb commons. BBC, tear down this firewall!

  • Comment number 5.

    It says over on Charlie Brookers Guardian page: "From now on, all of Curtis's work will be produced first and foremost for the internet."
    If the primary audience is the internet, geoblocking is going to make that difficult :)

    Also, could you please allow a direct download for trailers/videos as well? (preferably in a non-flash format)

    Looking forward to your new documentary!

  • Comment number 6.

    Copyright/DRM/Region control/geolocking...so 20th century :)

    C'mon Aunty, you know you can do better than this. You're the best broadcaster on the planet so don't hide your goodies under your skirts.

  • Comment number 7.

    Geolocking. Very sad. I've very much enjoyed your work before, but it appears that I won't be able to view it any longer due to having emigrated.

  • Comment number 8.

    Just to let you know the reason for the geoblocking: it's because of copyright issues on some of the archive clips.
    Sorry about that - Adam would love to make the films available outside of the UK but, as with many of his past series, it's sometimes just not possible.
    We will always try and overcome copyright issues and whenever we can we will make the films freely available.

  • Comment number 9.

    Actually this may mean the eventual destruction of the piece. A famous film on Afro-Americans - Eyes on the Prize - may not be shown because over time problems with various pieces of copyrighted material developed. This was once a highly regarded documentary made for the edification of young afro-americans. They can not now watch the film. Film clips are basically undigestable because they must go back to thier owners. So they get ripped out of the art they are in and taken back. Its as if the colour red were owned by Sony. They can stay for a little while but you have to keep paying or they go away.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am not able to watch these videos because I am in the US. I think it is immportant for as many people to see this video as want to. Is there any alternative for me?

  • Comment number 11.

    does anyone know where Adam Curtis gets all the old archive footage from? is there much problems with copyright when showing?

  • Comment number 12.

    I can't believe all comments are complaints. Are you people alright?
    I am so happy there's a new documentary/interactive-art show from Adam! And it sounds like exactly what most of us need to see!
    I hope to read everything is written about it in the run to the opening, and I will definately try to see it live.
    What's more: I can't wait to get some more clues from Adam on what he thinks will come after this era of idividualism fully collapses. What would this new way of democracy be like?
    So much intrigue!How will I be able to wait?
    Well, I hope people learn to control a bit their frustration around copyright, and become a bit more grateful that we have somebody like Curtis digesting information and historical facts for us.


  • Comment number 13.

    What the monkeys is this?

    Arent political documentary makers and news-makers meant to lead the way. For instance when liberating Kabul, or revealing that an MP has used expenses to purchase 100 budgerigars - or at least presenting the breaking news that a modernist carbuncle is about to be erected somewhere in Prince Charles sight line, and, said builder is a cowboy?

    Instead you seem to want to historicise everything. You seem to challenge the idea that individuals are individuals who, if they are a success they make their own choices because theyre worth it. Its only by coincidence that these choices often come via a corporate machine to satisfy desires.

    I dont know, but I guess you have a desire to wake up the politically unconscious (that includes many politicians) and remind us that metanarratives are relevant to understanding and seeking truth. If one accepts this notion much of what is presented as news and current affairs is just a pastiche of what goes on in the world.

    This is not to say there is an Orwellian conspiracy going on, maybe there is, I dont know. But I do appreciate your efforts. There are others trying to do the same in small ways. Visit

  • Comment number 14.

    Are Adam's works available on DVD?

    Is he aware of the Peak Oil crises? I would have thought that this coming turning point for the world would make an excellent subject to research and produce anew work about.

  • Comment number 15.

    If you want people to become more emotionally involved and associated, try using 50Hz motion for the picture.

    The trouble is that programme makers currently have an unnatural and unreasonable fetish about using the film look, because it looks 'big budget' even though it introduces optical nasties into the picture. It creates unreality, dissassociation and distance.

  • Comment number 16.

    Solution 1:
    Of course there's no need to complain so much. I'm sure that there will be some UK citizen - not fond of copyright issues - who does have installed some within-UK produced open-source video-ripper and who will be very glad to use some UK-localized free video-editing software to shrink the resolution and then to send low-res versions of Mr. Curtis's clips and short movies to us, non-UK appreciators of Mr. Curtis's work - and, of course, to send them to us through his/her Yahoo mail with the UK extension. :)))
    Generally speaking, if there's no solidarity in the world, we are doomed, aren't we? :)

    Solution 2:
    IMHO, it would be more appropriate than Solution 1 to put transcripts of clips and short movies on the same pages with them, hm? I suppose no one can find it "slam dunk" to undertake legal steps on copyright basis against described visuals? :)

    Why Mr. Adam Curtis uses only BBC archive as a source? Because of the convenience, or the copyright matters, or the contract, or because of supposed high prices of potentially cooperating archives?

  • Comment number 17.

    Solution 3:

    Google the word 'proxy'. Have a little think to yourself. Reflect on how the internet works. Use your own initiative. Play with your browser's settings. This may solve many of your other problems too. A small glow of smugness might come over you - this is perfectly normal, and smugness is underrated. Oh, and you might be able to watch some videos or something like that.

    On a lighter note - I'm looking forward to the live action Adam Curtis show. Will there be a waxwork James Goldsmith to welcome us into his underground bunker? We very much need some sort of follow-up to 'The Mayfair Set' to catch up with the monetary maelstrom so ably predicted there.

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Adam,

    I'd be interested in screening "The Trap" at Los Angeles Filmforum. We're a non-profit. https://lafilmforum.wordpress.com/
    This would be a theatrical, one-time-only screening. On my part, I have no qualms about rights issues. But I know that might differ for you.
    Please email me at lafilmforum@yahoo.com

    Best regards,
    Adam Hyman
    Executive Director/Programmer
    Los Angeles Filmforum

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi, is there a way for me to find all the documentaries with spanish subtitles?

    I really think my friends back in Venezuela should see all of them but they don't understand english that well.

    Is there any way for me to reach this material? Also I'd like to buy DVDs or something because the videos I've got are really low quality.

    Thanks in advanced for your help,

    Juan González

  • Comment number 20.

    I can only say that last night's preview of It Felt Like a Kiss was amazing. I believe I used some unprintable language when I came out because I just couldn't express how I felt. I can't wait to talk about it with friends and might explode trying to keep it all secret until the production is finished. It would just spoil it for everyone otherwise.

    Do whatever you can to get a ticket, you don't want to miss it.
    I've said too much...

  • Comment number 21.

    On the reserve list for tickets..not holding much hope though..I hope they "re-install" this into a large building in London!..hell why not go on tour?

  • Comment number 22.

    After listening to Front Row I had to complain to the BBC. See below:

    Dear Sir,

    Re: Complaint Front Row, 3 July 2009

    You have just described in detail your experiences of 'It Felt Like a Kiss' the Alan Curtis exhibition. I am led to believe that the whole point of the installation is that it is surprising and shocking and exciting. You explained the start, the middle, the end; everything! I have read two other reviews of this art work and none went as far as you. It is beyond belief that you have has spoilt it for all those people, like my friend and I, who have bought tickets (£25 each I should say; I am sure you did not pay for your ticket yourself).

    I am a high school teacher, so not easily annoyed but I am completely exasperated by this. It is totally unacceptable! I would like you to reply to this personally and explain yourself. Why, why, why?

    Yours faithfully,

    John Simpson

  • Comment number 23.

    Adam Curtis - did you realise how you and Lawson were ruining the installation for all of the audience who have bought tickets and not seen it yet? My friend and I have just bought tickets and were really looking forward to going. Were big fans of you and were actually going on my friends birthday. I cannot believe that Front Row spoiled it - completely. Unbelievable. Fools!

  • Comment number 24.

    Adam Curtis - did you realise how you and Lawson were ruining the installation for all of the audience who have bought tickets and not seen it yet? My friend and I have just bought tickets and were really looking forward to going. Were big fans of you and were actually going on my friends birthday. I cannot believe that Front Row spoiled it - completely. Unbelievable. Fools!

  • Comment number 25.

    Hello. Adam is up in Manchester so hasn't been around to post for a while but I have spoken to him re Front Row and this is his response:
    "If johnsimps feels Front Row gave away too much about what happens in 'It Felt Like a Kiss' then I think that when he sees the show he may well be in for quite a lot of surprises - both pleasant and scary...and I really hopes he enjoys himself."

  • Comment number 26.

    Thanks for your advices.
    I obviously forgot to add: "...as some people already did with the previous works of Mr. Curtis - "The Trap", "The Power of Nightmares", "The Century of the Self", "The Mayfair Set" and "The Living Dead", all of them in integrum." I hope you now find your advices redundant a little bit? (Please, do imagine here a smiling emoticon, I don't like to insert them.)

    I only wanted to make some possibly useful suggestions on the subject that Mr. Curtis himself mentioned at least once, 2005:

    "The problem is that the films are full of archive film and music from a multitude of sources. The reason my series are normally not released on DVD is that it is prohibitively costly and a nightmare - no pun intended - to clear the rights. " (https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4171213.stm%29

    Therefore, I've just asked in advance what is the main issue in the subject of rights' clearance, in order to not wasting anyone's time and space if my suggestions about the subject are useful as an extra head hole. My shame, but I discovered these words of Mr. Curtis after posting my previous comment here, so I apologize.

  • Comment number 27.

    Adam - I really hope youre right but I still feel that Lawson gave too much away. He would never have done that to a novel, film, TV programme. Going on the 14th. Still really looking forward to it.

  • Comment number 28.

    Here's my experience of the show at BBC News: https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8134509.stm

    Contains no spoilers beyond what's mentioned in the official programme blurb.

  • Comment number 29.


    I am a massive fan from Manchester and am seeing it felt like a kiss next week, can't wait :) As other people have been asking, where can I buy your documentaries on DVD, especially the rarer ones? I know you can buy the Century of Self on the American Amazon but its apparently very bad quality.
    Are you working on any new films?
    One last question- I was meant to see you debate with Germaine Greer at the last international festival but couldn't make it, will you be giving any other talks/ debates in the future?

    Thanks and keep making fantastic documentries

    P.S. A film on 'Oh Dearism' and the media would be great

  • Comment number 30.

    hi, managed to grab a ticket on the the first day, it was brilliant! never experienced anything like it, the closest thing like it is deus ex the computer game, dunno if based it on that or your too old to play games but either way it was ace, bet its funny to sit and watch peoples reactions

  • Comment number 31.

    I went to It Felt Like a Kiss last night. I have never seen anything quite like it. What an experience. I hope it stays on abit longer so some of the people i know can visit. Is the Full documentary going to be online...Also in the documentary there was this one music clip that i loved...i have been trying to work out what it was all day it was like a long toned electronic tone that started a track...anyway...that noise was infectious.

  • Comment number 32.

    I just wanted to say thank you for an amazing experience - it felt like a kiss was really intriguing and thought provoking. I went last Sunday and have been thinking and talking about it all week. It would be great to extend the run and then more people could have the chance to see it.

  • Comment number 33.

    Went to see Felt like a kiss tonight. Oh my god- what an experience! It should come with a health warning! It was fantastic but a little too scary for me, I thought the acting was great and the props were amazing.

  • Comment number 34.

    Thank you Adam, I loved the show! I especially enjoyed the surreal setting for the film screening, in which we the audience were turned into the ghostly mannequins we had seen in previous rooms. My favourite section was the carnival ghosttown that turned into the Black Panther rooms, a vivid expression of the flipside of the American Dream for Black people. Sad truth is the disrepair and poverty of such rooms are quite typical of African homes in the present day; it was like walking through my cousin's house in the village in Nigeria, with the same battered worn flickering TVs.

  • Comment number 35.

    When will this be online, please? I'd really like to see the film but couldn't make it to Manchester.


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