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Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

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.



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

By • Mar 12th, 2010 •

Category: America, Andy Warhol, celebrity culture, Lead Story, media landscape, nuclear war, reviews, Salvador Dali, speed & violence, visual art, WWII

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

By • Feb 8th, 2010 •

Category: alternate worlds, biology, body horror, boredom, CCTV, celebrity culture, conspiracy theory, consumerism, cyberpunk, death of affect, entropy, Hawkwind, inner space, Lead Story, psychopathology, reviews, surrealism, surveillance, technology

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

By • Aug 19th, 2008 •

Category: Ambit magazine, animation, architecture, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, film, Italy, literature, medical procedure, religion, reviews, short stories, Steven Spielberg, surveillance, Tarkovsky, urban decay

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

By • Aug 7th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, architecture, CCTV, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, film, Iain Sinclair, invisible literature, John Foxx, media landscape, music, reviews, YouTube

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

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.



J.G. Ballard: The Oracle of Shepperton

By • Feb 26th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, autobiography, dystopia, film, inner space, reviews, science fiction, Shepperton, suburbia

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.



Ballard/Noys/Fisher

By • Jan 17th, 2008 •

Category: academia, David Cronenberg, film, Jean Baudrillard, politics, reviews

A review of two academic articles written by Ben Noys on Ballard’s work, both analysing Ballard’s place in contemporary cultural production. This review also considers Mark Fisher’s recent Lacanian analysis of Basic Instinct 2, in an edition of Film-Philosophy edited by Noys, with its unearthing of intriguing Ballardian parallels.



How to Build a Utopia in Your Spare Time

By • Dec 23rd, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Australia, dystopia, enviro-disaster, film, Fredric Jameson, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, literature, Pacific, reviews, science fiction, terrorism, utopia

A review of Demanding the Impossible, the Third Australian Conference on Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction, held at Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 5-7.



Review: Grave New World

By • Aug 20th, 2007 •

Category: academia, death of affect, dystopia, entropy, Jean Baudrillard, reviews, urban decay

The basic tenet in Dominika Oramus’ new book on Ballard is that since the end of World War II western civilization has been merrily racing down the Highway to Hell in a white Pontiac; and all the evidence you need is in the fiction of J.G. Ballard.



It's An Ad, Ad, Ad World

By • Jul 25th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, consumerism, fascism, reviews, suburbia, urban revolt

Former ad man Rick McGrath takes another look at Kingdom Come from ‘the perspective of marketing, advertising and psychopathology’. He also looks at the Metro-Centre website, used to promote the book, and asks, ‘The abattoir? Not too gloomy?’



'If I had a pound for every time someone mentioned psychopathology': A Review of the First International Conference on the Work of J.G. Ballard

By • May 10th, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, architecture, Brian Eno, gated communities, literature, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, reviews

The UEA Studio: Conference Headquarters (photo: Simon Sellars). I attended From Shanghai to Shepperton: An International Conference on J.G. Ballard at the University of East Anglia on the weekend, and I’m suffering a bit of a comedown. I always get a bit melancholy when these temporary autonomous zones collapse and everyone returns to virtual communication. […]