We are living through strange days. Across Britain, Europe and America societies have become split and polarised. There is anger at the inequality and the ever growing corruption - and a widespread distrust of the elites. Into this has come the pandemic that has brutally dramatised those divisions. But despite the chaos, there is a paralysis - a sense that no one knows how to escape from this.
Can’t Get You Out of My Head tells how we got to this place. And why both those in power - and we - find it so difficult to move on. At its heart is the strange story of what happened when people’s inner feelings got mixed up with power in the age of individualism. How the hopes and dreams and uncertainties inside people's minds met the decaying forces of old power in Britain, America, Russia and China. What resulted was a block not just in the society - but also inside our own heads - that stops us imagining anything else than this.
Adam Curtis, who is sixty-five, rejects any talk of art in relation to this work. He describes himself as a television journalist. Part of his insistence comes from a particularly English middle-class aversion to being mistaken for an intellectual, but the rest comes from Curtis’s contention that his films are more accurate depictions of contemporary life and society than most straight reporting ever manages to be. “I’m fundamentally an emotional journalist,” Curtis said. “The mood my films create—and possibly the reason why people like that mood—is because it somehow feels real, even though it seems dreamy and odd. It actually gets at what’s going on in people’s heads, which is sort of what realism always is. People in the nineteenth century did not think and feel like we do today".