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Applied Ballardianism: A Theory of Nothing

The subject developed a theory, ‘Applied Ballardianism’, that made the case for Ballard as a philosopher of hypercapitalism. It did this by, first, ‘practically’ accelerating the everyday violence at the heart of contemporary society, and, then, by using Ballard’s ideas as a kind of shield against the resulting chaos. Supposedly, this would clear the way so that a ‘pure’ existence could result—sort of like how ‘controlled burning’ works in bushfire prevention. While he considered Applied Ballardianism an ‘ideal for living’, all it did was give him licence to indulge his darkest impulses, including a morbid obsession with the occult and a penchant for instigating squalid little street brawls.

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‘Working for the building’: An Interview with Ben Wheatley»

Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise opened earlier this year, garnering praise, bemusement and opprobrium in roughly equal measure. In this exclusive interview, Wheatley tells us about the process of adapting the film, his attraction to Ballard, and his working relationship with scriptwriter and editor Amy Jump.

Welcome to the High-Rise.

High-Rise: All the Trailers and Clips So Far»

High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, is released in the UK on 18 March. To celebrate, here’s a collection of all the clips and trailers so far.

Why I Want to Fuck Donald Trump»

Donald Trump as a series of posture concepts, basic equations which re-formulate the roles of aggression and anality. With apologies to JGB.

High-Rise: All the Posters So Far»

Feast your eyes on all the promotional posters for Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise…

“There comes a time when some sort of radical action is needed. Some of my novels, like High-Rise, are terrorist novels in that they’re designed to deliberately provoke.” J.G. Ballard.

Death is in the Air: Startling New Images from High-Rise»

A clutch of amazing new stills from Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise have been released into the wild. This photo essay explores how Wheatley taps into Ballardian myth beyond the source novel, alongside quotes from High-Rise itself.

High-Rise: Wheatley vs Cronenberg»

High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s much-anticipated adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel, goes on general release in March 2016. The first trailer was released recently, bringing excitement to the boil, for not only does the trailer adapt Ballard, it also homages Cronenberg.

Mad Max: ‘Punk’s Sistine Chapel’ – A Ballardian Primer»

Fury Road, the fourth film in the Mad Max series, is released on 15 May. Ballard loved Mad Max 2, going so far as to anoint it ‘Punk’s Sistine Chapel’. To celebrate George Miller’s latest masterpiece, we are proud to present this Ballardian primer to the Mad Max Universe.



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Latest INTERVIEWS

The J.G. Ballard Book: An Interview with Rick McGrath»

Mike Holliday’s interview with Ballard fan Rick McGrath, who self-published The JG Ballard Book, an anthology of archival Ballard interviews, articles about JGB and other Ballardiana, including unpublished Ballard letters.


David Pelham: The Art of Inner Space»

David Pelham produced perhaps the most Ballardian images ever to grace the covers of Ballard’s novels, prompted by this brief from the author himself: ‘‘monumental/tombstones/airless thermonuclear landscape/horizons/a zone devoid of time’. Here, Pelham discusses his apocalyptic art with James Pardey.


‘A temporarily tame tiger’: Brigid Marlin on J.G. Ballard, Paul Delvaux and surrealist art»

Andrew Bishop’s fascinating interview with artist Brigid Marlin, who created for Ballard two of the more enduring symbols of his career: reproductions of lost paintings by surrealist Paul Delvaux, which adorned Ballard’s Shepperton home and formed beguiling conversation pieces for visiting interviewers.


“Enthusiasm for the mysterious emissaries of pulp”: an interview with David Britton (the Savoy interviews, part 2a)»

The story of Savoy Books is one of the strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. All of those qualities are equally applicable to Savoy Records, the music arm of Savoy’s black empire, as Simon Sellars discovers when he talks to Savoy co-founder David Britton. The interview features sound clips from selected Savoy releases.


The 032c Interview: Simon Reynolds on Ballard, part 2»

Simon Reynolds is one of the most recognizable music critics around. His work reached a peak with the publication of Rip It Up and Start Again, a timely excavation of post-punk: Cabaret Voltaire, PiL, Magazine, and so on. What’s more, J.G. Ballard was a thread throughout the book, as Reynolds charted the influence of JGB — and especially his experimental novel, The Atrocity Exhibition — on the era. In this interview, as Simon meets Simon, these topics are discussed in the wake of JGB’s death.


“Driven by Anger”: An Interview with Michael Butterworth (the Savoy interviews, part 1)»

The story of Savoy Books is one of the strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. Mike Holliday talks to Savoy co-founder Michael Butterworth about all this and more, including the guidance Butterworth received as a young writer from J.G. Ballard.


'Architectures of the Near Future': An Interview with Nic Clear»

Nic Clear leads the remarkable Unit 15 course on the built environment at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. In this interview, Nic explains the course’s focus on the work of Ballard as a way to counter the lamentable state of current discourse on architecture. The article includes clips of six stunning films produced by students as part of this Ballard-inspired methodology.




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Latest REVIEWS

Towards Year Zero: Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise»

In September 2015, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Reactions covered the entire spectrum: people loved it, people loathed it, people were bored by it. The UK premiere was in London recently, and Mike Holliday attended; he loved it. His verdict? A very worthy addition to the growing catalogue of Ballard feature films.


“Ambiguous aims”: a review of Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard [NSFW]»

Ballard’s writing has a strong connection to visual art. It informed his work and led to him befriending some of the leading artists of his time, while in turn his work has influenced today’s crop. As Ben Austwick reports, the exhibition Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard represent these diverse strands in a haphazard, yet always interesting fashion.


Review: Jeremy Reed’s West End Survival Kit»

A review-essay of Jeremy Reed’s latest collection of poetry, West End Survival Kit. The review also discusses the long and enigmatic relationship Reed has with Ballard, who wrote the foreword to the collection, where he paid tribute to Reed’s ‘extraterrestrial talent’.


Unique visual complexities: A review of Grande Anarca»

Jamie Sherry reviews a unique on-screen adaptation of Ballard’s work, now showing on BallardoTube: the Italian animation, Grande Anarca, based on JGB’s 1985 short story, ‘Answers to A Questionnaire’. Can the filmmakers succeed where other, big-name suitors have failed — decanting Ballard’s experimental literary narratives into a more linear cinematic language? Or does Ballard resist classification yet again?


Escaping the gaze: A review of John Foxx's Tiny Colour Movies»

This is a review of John Foxx’s Melbourne performance of Tiny Colour Movies, his found-film collection and live soundtrack. For the reviewer, witnessing this may have solved a two-year-old puzzle; certainly, it brought everything full circle back to Ballard.


Simon Brook's Minus One»

In 1991 Simon Brook made a short film from J.G. Ballard’s obscure 1963 short story, ‘Minus One’. Enjoy this super-rare screening of Simon’s film.


J.G. Ballard: The Oracle of Shepperton»

The final version of Thomas Cazals’ tribute, ‘J.G. Ballard: The Oracle of Shepperton’, has been released. It’s one of the stranger JGB ‘adaptations’ around, and is told with considerable flair and skill.




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