Ballard predicted the rise of the selfie

jgballardinterviews

Upon the release of High-Rise in cinemas, Tom Hiddleston read out chunks of an interview with JG Ballard to highlight the man’s prescience. Here are the excerpts from Jon Savage’s interview with Ballard from 1978. Note Ballard more or less predicts the coming age of social media, digital news and selfies: “I think the biggest developments over the next twenty, thirty years are going to be through the introduction of VHS systems, and I don’t just mean the cassette thing, playback gadgets – that in itself would be quite revolutionary – but when, say, every room in everybody’s house or flat … Continue reading

Ballard: Our need for catastrophes

The cultural revolution of the 1960s had an undeniably profound impact on the people who lived amidst its birth pangs. In 1986 a film crew came to make a short documentary about the writer JG Ballard. In the interview, Ballard pointed out that the world which we inhabit requires a certain amount of oil to make the cogs go around and keep the wheels turning. For Ballard it was sex which played such a role in the 1960s, but now sex is no longer a new frontier and increasingly violence has become the oil which keeps the wheels turning. The … Continue reading

High-Rise is not so far from reality

high-rise-ballard-film-2016

The new film adaption of JG Ballard’s classic 1975 novel High-Rise has been a while coming. Much like the power-cuts that interrupt life in the novel’s namesake, various attempts to translate the book for cinema have been erratic, and ultimately failed. But with director Ben Wheatley’s effort garnering positive reviews and critical acclaim, perhaps it is useful to reconsider the story’s meaning. High-Rise tells the story of Robert Laing – a middle class doctor who moves into a complex of futuristic, luxury tower blocks just outside of London. The building where Laing lives is designed to provide everything its residents … Continue reading