Archive for the ‘Shanghai’ 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.

Extreme Metaphors: ‘A Launchpad for Other Explorations’

By • Feb 1st, 2014 •

Category: Extreme Metaphors, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, non-fiction, Salvador Dali, science fiction, Shanghai, Shepperton

To celebrate the new paperback edition of Extreme Metaphors: Selected Interviews with J.G. Ballard, here’s Simon Sellars’ introduction to the book, which explores the true power of Ballard’s conversational style.

‘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’.

Fulfillment in a time of nihilism: John Gray and J.G. Ballard

By • Feb 27th, 2011 •

Category: consumerism, features, Lead Story, philosophy, religion, Shanghai, time travel, war, William Burroughs

The political theorist John Gray has long been an enthusiastic admirer of J.G. Ballard, and Ballard often expressed appreciation for Gray’s work. Mike Holliday examines the essental nature of this ‘two-man mutual admiration society’.

Ballardian Architecture: Inner and Outer Space

By • Aug 17th, 2010 •

Category: academia, architecture, brutalism, features, Guy Debord, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, modernism, photography, Shanghai, spectacle, W.G. Sebald

Via Static TV, film of discussions at the Ballardian Architecture: Inner and Outer Space symposium, Royal Academy of Arts. The event was chaired by Jeremy Melvin and speakers included John Gray, Nic Clear, David Cunningham, Nigel Coates, Matthew Taunton, Chris Hall, Joanne Murray, Dan Holdsworth, Tim Abrahams and Claire Walsh.

A Fascist State? Another Look at Kingdom Come and Consumerism

By • Jul 7th, 2010 •

Category: advertising, architecture, Bentall Centre, celebrity culture, consumerism, dystopia, fascism, features, Lead Story, media landscape, Salvador Dali, Shanghai, speed & violence, sport, surrealism

Ballard’s final novel, Kingdom Come, a dystopian account of consumerism as a type of ’soft fascism’, received lukewarm reviews and suggestions that the author was, perhaps, finally losing his touch. Others were eager to point to parallels between it and events around us: aggressive car commercials, racist behaviour by sports fanatics. In this article, Mike Holliday re-examines Kingdom Come and asks: can we really equate consumerism with fascism?

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

By • Feb 22nd, 2010 •

Category: audio, censorship, H.P. Lovecraft, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, interviews, Lead Story, literature, music, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books, Shanghai

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.

A Near Future: Nic Clear’s Tribute to JG Ballard

By • Dec 28th, 2009 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, architecture, audio, body horror, dystopia, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, R.I.P. JGB, Shanghai, urban ruins, utopia, WWII

JG Ballard’s writing encompassed topics as diverse as ecological crisis, technological fetishism, urban ruination and suburban mob culture. In this extract from the September-October issue of Architectural Design, Nic Clear explores how Ballard’s understanding of architecture and architects made him one of the most important figures in the literary articulation of architectural issues and concerns.

Rick McGrath’s Letter From London: The JG Ballard Memorial

By • Nov 30th, 2009 •

Category: Ambit magazine, Chris Petit, features, film, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, R.I.P. JGB, Shanghai, Shepperton, Solveig Nordlund, Steven Spielberg, time travel, Toby Litt, Will Self, William Burroughs

“Greetings from London! Hope all is well with you. I’ve just attended the long-anticipated JG Ballard Memorial celebration at the Tate Modern and now I’m catching my breath — and a few beers — at a nearby Thames-side pub with fellow Ballardians. We’re having a wonderful time — wish you were here. But let’s start at the beginning. We have time to order some Alsatian off the barbie…” Love from Rick.

Miracles of Life: foreword to the Greek edition

By • Oct 19th, 2009 •

Category: autobiography, features, Lead Story, medical procedure, memory, Shanghai, time travel, WWII

This is the foreword to the Greek edition of Ballard’s Miracles of Life, to be published by Oxy in November 2009.

Conference paper on Ballard and ‘circular time’

By • Sep 29th, 2009 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, memory, Shanghai, time travel, WWII

I’m giving a paper on Ballard, circular time and the nouvelle vague this Thursday, October 1, at 3pm at ACMI in Melbourne, as part of the time.transcendence.performance conference. Come and say hello.

“Extreme Possibilities”: Mapping “the sea of time and space” in J.G. Ballard’s Pacific fictions

By • Aug 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, features, inner space, Japan, Lead Story, memory, micronations, nuclear war, Pacific, Shanghai, war, WWII

What’s the connection between J.G. Ballard, Hakim Bey and Fredric Jameson? Tracking Ballard’s surreal visions of nuclear conflict to Ground Zero in the Pacific, the paper maps his peculiar, irradiated sense of “affirmative dystopias”, a template for his more enduring urban works (famously, Crash) that, finally, intersects in striking ways with the writings of Bey and Jameson.