Last night was thinking of things to bring with me to America, load up with comics and films, and I noticed the two latest Adam Curtis documentaries are still up on the BBC iPlayer.

Here’s the opening to Bitter Lake:

I can watch that again, and again, and again until it gets old. It does a brilliant job of setting up the film’s haunting and meandering tone. That opening with Solaris and reflective lake also works as an analogy for how Afghanistan reflects on America. Plus I love the music.

There’s lots to criticise in Adam Curtis, it’s not as if his documentaries don’t follow a formula. He’s prone to making philosophical pronouncements based on historical studies of fringe events or figures, all set to archive footage and accompanied by an unusual soundtrack. His documentaries also drag on a bit. He doesn’t post to his blog on the BBC anymore, but while he was writing it was always worth reading his stuff, particularly this long read on Gaddafi and the power of symbols.