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Archive for the ‘alternate worlds’ Category

Applied Ballardianism: A Theory of Nothing

By • Sep 14th, 2016 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Applied Ballardianism, autobiography, features, Lead Story, paranormal

The subject developed a theory, ‘Applied Ballardianism’, that made the case for Ballard as a philosopher of hypercapitalism, but 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.



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

By • May 30th, 2016 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ben Wheatley, brutalism, features, film, gated communities, urban decay, urban revolt, urban ruins, William Burroughs

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

By • Mar 13th, 2016 •

Category: advertising, alternate worlds, architecture, Ben Wheatley, brutalism, consumerism, death of affect, dystopia, features, gated communities, Interior design, Lead Story, urban decay, urban revolt, urban ruins, utopia

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.



High-Rise: Wheatley vs Cronenberg

By • Dec 15th, 2015 •

Category: advertising, alternate worlds, architecture, Ben Wheatley, brutalism, David Cronenberg, drained swimming pools, dystopia, features, film, Lead Story, leisure, urban revolt, urbanism

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.



Towards Year Zero: Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise

By • Oct 19th, 2015 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, film, gated communities, inner space, Lead Story, medical procedure, micronations, reviews, Shanghai, the middle classes

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.



‘No Original Response’: J.G. Ballard predicts Social Media, CCTV, Reality TV

By • Jul 3rd, 2013 •

Category: alternate worlds, Applied Ballardianism, Bruce Sterling, CCTV, celebrity culture, dystopia, features, Gilles Deleuze, hyperreality, Lead Story, media landscape, reality TV, science fiction, surveillance, television, William Gibson, YouTube

A post at Buzzfeed has been doing the rounds this week, on how J.G. Ballard “predicted social media in 1977″. According to Buzzfeed, “he made this uncanny observation in a Vogue essay”. Here’s Simon Sellars’ response, in text excerpted from his forthcoming book Applied Ballardianism, about life through a Ballardian lens. Read on for Ballard’s disturbing warning about the dangers that await when we have the capacity to broadcast “the inside of our heads”…



‘Zones of Transition’: Micronationalism in the work of J.G. Ballard

By • Dec 28th, 2012 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, CCTV, consumerism, death of affect, features, gated communities, Lead Story, Marc Auge, micronations, Shanghai, suburbia, surveillance, the middle classes, urban revolt

Simon Sellars re-reads Ballardian space in light of the idiosyncratic, real-world phenomenon of micronations, tracing parallels between Ballard’s physical and psychological spaces and Marc Augé’s idea of ‘non-place’.



In Defence of the Virtual: A Secret History of Ballardian Film Adaptations

By • Mar 12th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, CCTV, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, features, film, Lead Story, Philip K. Dick, Shepperton, Solveig Nordlund, surveillance

Recently, it was announced that Christian Bale was returning to Ballard, set to star in Brad Anderson’s version of Concrete Island. But given the recent hype surrounding Vincenzo Natali’s proposed adaptation of High-Rise, and the non-appearance of that film, is this destined to be yet another ‘vapourware’ adaptation, joining the long string of phantom Ballard films ‘starring’ Jean Seberg, Richard Gere and Samuel L. Jackson? And is that such a bad thing?



Apollo Roulette, Part 2

By • Feb 6th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, conspiracy theory, deep time, features, hyperreality, Lead Story, nuclear war, space relics

In this, the final thrilling instalment of Brian Baker’s Apollo Roulette, the sequel to his 2009 Fleming/Ballard mashup, Baker continues to apply the method to desert imagery in Ballard’s work, uncovering the deadly secret that powers the American ‘nuclear state’: an apocalyptic game of APOLLO ROULETTE!



Apollo Roulette: part 1

By • Jan 26th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, conspiracy theory, deep time, features, hyperreality, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, nuclear war, Salvador Dali, space relics, William Gibson, WWIII

In this sequel to Brian Baker’s Ian Fleming/J.G. Ballard mashup from 2009, Baker applies the method to desert imagery in Ballard’s work. Finally, we are able to uncover the secret logic at play in the American ‘nuclear state’ – a deadly game of APOLLO ROULETTE!



RIP Elizabeth Taylor: A Ballardian Primer

By • Mar 25th, 2011 •

Category: alternate worlds, celebrity culture, consumerism, features, film, Lead Story, media landscape, sexual politics, WWIII

With the sad news of Elizabeth Taylor’s passing, the time seems right to review the appearance of this enigmatic actress across a significant chapter in Ballard’s work, spanning the 1966 publication of the experimental story ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’ through to 1973 and the notorious novel Crash.



‘Flesh dissolved in an acid of light’: the B-movie as second sight

By • Mar 15th, 2011 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, America, CCTV, computer games, consumerism, features, film, hyperreality, Jean Baudrillard, John Carpenter, Lead Story, media landscape, Roger Corman, science fiction, surveillance

What is the link between the film X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), directed by Roger Corman, the film They Live (1988), directed by John Carpenter, and the work of J.G. Ballard? Nothing less than the B-movie as a rearguard response to the gathering global and economic forces of late capitalism.