Friday, August 17, 2007

Martians and Us excerpt (J. G. Ballard)

Here's a very nice few minutes of a documentary taking science fiction very seriously--this segment providing an impressive presentation of the J. G. Ballard. Below is the only other excerpt of the film which I could find--this one about a particular 70's Christopher Priest novel. It's so exciting to me to find anything good, taking SF seriously as literature, as art...for the moment posting these findings has taken over this blog more than I'd planned. So in part this is becoming a road map of my science fiction quest through YouTube.

There is a 30 minute documentary about Ballard available on YouTube, which is well worth watching, which you can see by clicking here. And here is another documentary, Shanghai Jim, which follows Ballard on his first return to Shanghai after his war-time experiences. Ballard is a unique and fascinating (and talented) figure in literature, yet also a key representative of at least one aspect of the science fictional imagination.

{A minor sidebar observation: Ballard' makes a couple references to his work reflecting or being based upon American culture, in the first BBC documentary interviews with him, yet to me he's an extremely British writer and his view of American culture comes from quite a distance, making it more a projection of a distant fantasy world. I'm always struck by the confidence with which British writers seem to feel they can accurately portray the US--whereas I find their pictures of my country unrecognizable as the place I know (even given the distorted mirror of imaginative fiction). Not that this negates the power of the fiction--I just find their confidence in their ability to capture this country to be ironic. Instead we are usually reading their own projections upon a mythic image of a faraway place, created from media images and their ideas about what we represent.}

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