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Adam Curtis at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2005

Adam Curtis (born 1955) is a British television documentary maker who has during the course of his television career worked as a writer, producer, director and narrator. He currently works for BBC Current Affairs. His programmes express a clear (and sometimes controversial) opinion about their subject, and he narrates the programmes himself.

After attending Sevenoaks School (a member of the 'art room' that produced musicians, Tom Greenhalgh, Kevin Lycett and Mark White of The Mekons along with Andy Gill and Jon King of the Gang of Four) Curtis studied for a BA in Human Sciences (which included introductory courses in genetics, psychology, politics, geography and elementary statistics) at the University of Oxford. Curtis taught politics there, but left for a career in television. He obtained a post on That's Life!, where he learned to find humour in serious subjects.

Curtis's intensive use of archive footage is a distinctive touch of his. An Observer profile said:

Curtis has a remarkable feel for the serendipity of such moments, and an obsessive skill in locating them. "That kind of footage shows just how dull I can be," he admits, a little glumly. "The BBC has an archive of all these tapes where they have just dumped all the news items they have ever shown. One tape for every three months. So what you get is this odd collage, an accidental treasure trove. You sit in a darkened room, watch all these little news moments, and look for connections."[1]

The Observer adds "if there has been a theme in Curtis's work since, it has been to look at how different elites have tried to impose an ideology on their times, and the tragi-comic consequences of those attempts."

Curtis received the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2005.[2] In 2006 he was given the Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television at the British Academy Television Awards.

Curtis was reported to be on the editorial 'steering committee' of the weekly email gossip newsletter Popbitch,[3] but the editor of the newsletter clarified that in fact he was simply a "friend" of the magazine.[4].


Curtis "trademark" titles


External links



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