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Archive for the ‘humour’ Category

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

By • Nov 5th, 2009 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ambit magazine, body horror, censorship, horror, humour, Iain Sinclair, interviews, Lead Story, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books, surrealism, William Burroughs

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.



Kingdom of the Dead

By • Aug 5th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, Ballardosphere, body horror, consumerism, death of affect, film, gated communities, horror, humour, micronations, urban revolt

Parallels between Ballard’s Kingdom Come and Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.



Indexed out of existence…

By • May 2nd, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, censorship, features, humour, pastiche, short stories, Will Self

Is Woody Allen a Ballard fan? Lucy Vickery at The Spectator certainly is.



'The Crashman': An Experiment in Applied Internet Ballardianism

By • Apr 8th, 2008 •

Category: censorship, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, flying, Freud, humour, Lead Story, media landscape, Michael Moorcock, music, psychopathology, speed & violence, sport, war, WWII, YouTube

Drawing inspiration from J.G. Ballard’s exhibition of crashed cars in 1970, the Crashman presents his own festival of Atrocity films: aviation disasters set to musical soundtracks.



Simon Brook's Minus One

By • Mar 8th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, David Cronenberg, film, humour, medical procedure, psychiatry, reviews, short stories, Steven Spielberg, the middle classes

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.



Ballardian Home Movies: The Final Cut

By • Mar 2nd, 2008 •

Category: competitions, dystopia, entropy, features, film, gated communities, humour, psychopathology, speed & violence, suburbia, suicide, surveillance, technology, television, urban decay, YouTube

Here are the entries in the 1st Ballardian Festival of Home Movies. Congratulations to the winner, Ben Slater.



The Chromium Geometry of the Toaster

By • Mar 7th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, body horror, cyberpunk, humour

Something Awful is currently taking the piss out of ‘cyberia’ and the early days of the internet, looking back to a time when hyperlinks were revolutionary because ‘we don’t have to look at text as linear anymore, because it’s all connected now. Information wants to be free. It wants to rape itself and bear its […]



An Evening with J.G. Ballard

By • Sep 20th, 2006 •

Category: consumerism, humour, interviews, psychology, Shanghai, short stories, surrealism, terrorism

JG Ballard. Photo: Paul Murphy. On 14 September 2006 JG Ballard gave a reading from his new novel, Kingdom Come, and talked to Robert McCrum of the Observer at the Institute of Education, London — the evening was presented by Blackwell. Looking rather dapper and displaying a sharpness and wit that puts people half his […]



The Kindness of Women (1991)

By • Sep 7th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, humour, sexual politics, Shepperton

OPENING LINE: “Every afternoon in Shanghai during the summer of 1937 I rode down to the Bund to see if the war had begun.” I have a real soft spot for The Kindness of Women, an autobiographical work that’s loosely described as a sequel to Empire of the Sun. Here, Ballard is honest, self-deprecating and […]



A User's Guide to the Millennium (1996)

By • Sep 5th, 2006 •

Category: advertising, architecture, bibliography, boredom, celebrity culture, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, fashion, film, flying, humour, invisible literature, media landscape, medical procedure, non-fiction, photography, politics, psychogeography, psychology, Salvador Dali, science fiction, sexual politics, space relics, speed & violence, surrealism, television, urban decay, visual art, William Burroughs, WWII

OPENING LINE: “In his prime the Hollywood screenwriter was one of the tragic figures of our age, evoking the special anguish that arises from feeling sorry for oneself while making large amounts of money”. (from ‘The Sweet Smell of Excess’). From the 1996 Harper Collins edition: The first-ever collection of J.G. Ballard’s articles and reviews, […]



J.G. Ballard: The Complete Short Stories, vols 1 & 2 (2006)

By • Sep 1st, 2006 •

Category: advertising, architecture, bibliography, boredom, celebrity culture, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, flying, humour, invisible literature, media landscape, medical procedure, New Worlds, photography, politics, psychogeography, psychology, science fiction, sexual politics, Shepperton, short stories, space relics, speed & violence, suicide, surrealism, television, terrorism, urban decay, urban revolt, visual art, WWII

OPENING LINE: “I first met Jane Ciracylides during the Recess, that world slump of boredom, lethargy and high summer which carried us all so blissfully through ten unforgettable years, and I suppose that may have had a lot to do with what went on between us.” (from ‘Prima Belladonna’). From the 2001 Flamingo edition (originally […]



Random Ballard: Will Self/JGB Mash Up

By • Jun 8th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, humour, sexual politics

Here’s another completely random Ballard-referencing quote plucked completely from its context in time and space. It’s from Mr Will Self himself this time, and it’s taken from an interview he did to promote his novel How the Dead Live: PENGUIN: You don’t belong to any one school, who do you read or admire? WILL SELF: […]



"Thirsty Man at the Spigot": An Interview with Jonathan Weiss

By • May 2nd, 2006 •

Category: academia, America, Australia, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, consumerism, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, humour, Iain Sinclair, interviews, sexual politics, Steven Spielberg

by Simon Sellars Victor Slezak as ‘T’ in The Atrocity Exhibition Ballardian presents an exclusive interview with Jonathan Weiss, director of The Atrocity Exhibition, the film based on the J.G. Ballard collection of ‘condensed novels’. ———————————————————————————————————————- NOTE: This is a revised and expanded version of the original interview. The new additions are a reworked introduction, […]